The May Day holiday across Europe slowed activity, but the market was far from a standstill. A number of deals priced earlier last week, and activity was expected to pick up again on Friday.

According to market sources, the $1 billion equivalent RMBS issue for Delta Lloyd Levensverzekeringen was expected to price last Thursday but was held until the markets reopened Friday after the May Day holiday. The transaction was issued via the Arena special purpose vehicle and is backed by Dutch mortgages. ABN AMRO is managing the deal.

The $595 million equivalent class A1 tranche and the $365 million equivalent class A2 tranche are both rated triple-A. Price talk for the A1 piece was heard at 24 to 25 basis points over Euribor and 30 basis points over mid-market swaps for the A2 piece. Guidance for the $36.5 million B piece is 68 to 70 basis points over mid-market swaps, and guidance for the C tranche is 125 basis points over Euribor. There are an additional $5 million of Class D notes being marketed as well.

There was no shortage of Dutch RMBS paper for investors, who were offered $1.4 billion equivalent of notes earlier in the week. The Hermes deal priced last Monday, making it the fourth deal to price so far this year and the first transaction to include a dollar-denominated tranche. According to market sources, the $525 million triple-A rated tranche priced inside one basis point of talk at 27 over Euribor, reflecting a growing demand for this paper. Sources said that placing the Euro tranches had become increasingly difficult.

Outside of RMBS issues, a new $393 million auto lease deal is marketing for Nederland BV dubbed Athlon Securitisation BV. The deal will publicly offer a $355.7 million equivalent tranche of triple-A notes and a $15.7 million equivalent A1 piece. Guidance on the A piece is in the low forties.

The $247 million equivalent Edelweiss Auto Funding ltd. transaction was another auto deal being marketed last week. A pool of Austrian and German auto loans for Erste Bank subsidiary EBV leasing back the securitization. According to market sources, guidance for the A piece is at 29 to 30 basis points over Euribor, and talk for the B piece is heard at 60 basis points over.

On the credit card side, MBNA priced its $562 million equivalent note from their U.S. credit card program. The triple-A rated, seven-year fixed-rate notes came in at 25 basis points over mid-swaps. Also in the market last week was the $805 million equivalent credit card transaction from U.K.-based Internet bank Egg Plc. It's the second deal to be launched from the Pillar master trust structure. The deal is marketed with three triple-A tranches denominated in dollars, sterling and Euros. An additional single-A tranche and triple-B tranche are also being marketed.

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