A slow week of trading came to an end with last Thursday's pricing of the $750 million credit card-backed deal from The Metris Companies, bringing the tally to $3.4 billion, down from $7 billion the previous week.

Aside from Metris, notable pricings last week came from student lender Sallie Mae and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group vehicle Kingfisher Trust.

The slowdown in issuance was partially blamed on the Memorial Day holiday, as few issuers or underwriters wanted to have deals postponed as the pre-holiday exodus began Friday. With a holiday-shortened week ahead, few expect volume to spike up dramatically.

The largest offering last week came from Sallie Mae. The $1.5 billion floating-rate student loan-backed deal was structured so that investor demand decided the allocation of the three-month Libor and three-month T-bill-indexed senior tranches.

The series 2001-2 deal was led jointly by Credit Suisse First Boston and Salomon Smith Barney.

In the end, $736 million of Libor-indexed A-1 paper, with a 2.5-year average life, priced at four basis points over three-month Libor and $250 million of A-2 notes, also with a 2.5-year average life, priced at 77 basis points over three-month Treasurys. Also, $496 million of A-3 notes, with a 6.9-year average life, priced at 12 basis points over three-month Libor. The $53 million single-A-plus-rated 8.13-year B class priced at 45 basis points over three-month Libor.

Some in the market were surprised that any T-bill notes were placed, as Libor investors are much more prevalent and Sallie Mae's last offering - which gave investors a similar option - resulted in a completely Libor-indexed deal.

Early in the week, Kingfisher Trust sold $1 billion of a single-tranche triple-A-rated A class, with a 3.21-year average life, priced with a coupon of 18 basis points over three-month LIBOR, one basis point tight to initial guidance.

Also pricing this week was a $159 million manufactured housing-backed deal from Oakwood Homes and $400 million of an insurance premium-backed Rule 144A offering from PFS Financing.

This week, watch for New Century Financial Corp., which is set to bring $373 million of home equity loan-backed paper to market via Salomon Smith Barney. Also in the pipeline for coming weeks are large offerings in the works from DaimlerChrysker N.A. Holdings, Long Beach Mortgage Co., The CIT Group Inc. and Mitsubishi Motor Co.

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