New-issue activity picked up last week, in sessions of wintry holiday-shortened trading. While over $12.3 billion was announced or had been left over from the previous week, $6.51 billion had priced as of Thursday's close and the bulk of the remaining $5.79 billion was expected to price Friday. For the first time all year, the auto loan sector dominated, with three offerings totaling $4.4 billion making the rounds to strong demand.

Two foreign captives, American Honda Finance and Nissan Motor Credit, each saw extremely good demand with their respective offerings last week, striking while the iron was hot. Aside from the mid-January pricing of Onyx Acceptance Corp., auto supply had been non-existent since Ford Motor Credit and General Motors Acceptance Corp. started the year off with deals on consecutive weeks. The lack of high-quality, captive auto lenders this year, led to both Honda and Nissan being blowouts, sources said. Prior to this week, auto supply totaled just $6.4 billion on three transactions.

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