New issues were slow to develop last week, in holiday-shortened trading that still had a fair amount of supply waiting to price late in the week. Pricing as of press time was a Big-Three auto loan transaction as well as a pair of credit card deals of note. Three home-equity trades, a credit card deal and a subprime auto ABS were pending for either late last week or early this week.
Leading the supply was a $2 billion retail auto loan offering from DaimlerChrysler N.A. Holdings, which priced at tightened spreads within hours of being announced. The all fixed-rate 2002-C transaction, led jointly by Credit Suisse First Boston and JPMorgan Securities, was almost all-sold prior to guidance being released, enjoying the benefits of being the first prime auto ABS since the conference season ended.
According to Brad Dansker, managing director in JPMorgan's U.S. ABS group, there was a swell in demand for safer, prime auto paper across the yield curve. Approximately 40% of the loans backing this trade were made to high-quality borrowers, with APRs under 5%. As a result, all of the offered classes were two times oversold and DCAT 02-C priced two basis points inside of the most recent GMAC CARAT 2002-4 offering, which priced Sept. 30.
Daimler, which has not tapped the market at the level of its two biggest rivals in the U.S auto market is viewed as a stronger seller/servicer by investors, as evidenced by the 300-plus basis point premium placed on its unsecured debt, versus General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. corporate bonds.
Rumored since the prior week, Barclays plc credit card issuance vehicle Gracechurch Card Funding #2 priced Wednesday, with its seniors tightening two basis points from indicative spreads, coming in at 12 basis points over one-month Libor for five-year triple-A paper. Barclays cardholders, located in the U.K., have an unheard of average seasoning of 10 years, sources noted. Credit enhancement for the deal was a lower-than-average 10%. Barclays Capital led the books on the deal.
Bank One N.A.'s BOIT vehicle brought a three-year triple-A A4 class via Banc One Capital Markets, also pricing within hours of its announcement. The single-tranche fixed-rate offering priced to yield five basis points over three-year swaps, at the wide end, but still within, guidance.
Still in the queue at press time was a $1.4 billion auto deal from recent headline victim AmeriCredit Corp., which had its senior unsecured debt was downgraded by FitchRatings following the disclosure of increased delinquency triggers with its bond insurer, FSA. For this offering, AmeriCredit tapped rival surety MBIA, a move that it had disclosed in its most recent earnings report, noted company spokeswoman Susan Sheffield. The sixth auto ABS from the issuer - all but one has been wrapped - was scheduled to price Friday via CSFB and Deutsche Bank Securities.
GMAC-RFC, Equity One, Impac Mortgage and Saxon Asset Securities each had home equity offerings waiting to price, the $1 billion 2002-3 from Saxon being its largest to date. Household Finance had a three-year credit card floater, also scheduled to price Friday.