The U.S. ABS primary market sprinted to a holiday dampened $9.25 billion of new-issue supply, the overwhelming majority of which - $7.5 billion - came in the home equity sector. While the credit card sector did enjoy an active week of new issuance, volume totaled just $1.75 billion.
Most blamed the religious holidays - Passover at the start of the week and Good Friday at the end of the week - for the overall lack of activity, as many were out of the office for some portion of the workweek.
More notable than the supply in the credit card sector was the levels at which MBNA America Bank completed its fourth triple-A rated credit card ABS of the year. The $1.35 billion MBNASeries 2004-A4, via Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers was the second three-year deal of 2004 to price flat to comparable swaps. In early March, Citibank N.A. reopened its series 2004-A1 transaction for an additional $1.25 billion flat to swaps.
Also of note, Capital One Financial sold $150 million of a rare 15-year single-A offering from its COMET issuance trust. Capital One COMET 2004-B2, with a 14.9-year average life priced its single floating-rate tranche at 75 basis points over one-month Libor via Deutsche Bank Securities and Goldman Sachs, following an increase in size to $150 million from the initial $100 million.
Outdoor clothing retailer Cabela's Inc., an annual ABS issuer, came in last week with a pair of offerings backed by subsidiary World's Foremost Bank general purpose Visa cards. The fixed- and floating-rate five-year offerings, led by Wachovia Securities, priced at 18 basis points over swaps and 12 basis points over one-month Libor, respectively. While the $75 million fixed-rate offering priced in line with guidance, the $175 million floating-rate deal tightened two basis points from indicative levels.
Home equity transactions were seen last week from a variety of issuers, including GMAC-RFC, Aegis Mortgage and C-BASS, as well as issuance vehicles of Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley. Collateral backing the deals included whole loan portfolios from New Century Financial and Option One Mortgage.