A holiday-shortened trading week, coupled with the typical slow start to a new quarter, left the ABS primary market nearly devoid of activity last week. Just $3.15 billion priced, including an EETC, while an additional $3.8 billion was readied for when the market returns from the Independence Day holiday.

Among the offerings seen last week, there were three issuance trusts tapping the market for the first time, although all from regular ABS issuers. In addition to the subordinated fleet-lease ABS from Cendant Corp.'s Terrapin Funding (see story p. 1), AmeriQuest Mortgage and Morgan Stanley each unveiled new transactions.

AmeriQuest's wholesale division, Argent Mortgage Co., located in White Plains N.Y., priced the largest offering seen last week, a $1.2 billion floating-rate deal offered via joint leads Banc of America Securities and Morgan Stanley. An unfamiliarity with the name, as well as the broker-originated collateral, led to spreads wider than the parent typically sees in the primary, but, for the most part still in line with initial guidance. The indicative 2.75-year senior class priced at par with a 50 basis point coupon over one-month Libor. The five-year subs, however, widened slightly to price at 500 basis points over one-month Libor, versus guidance in the 475 basis point area.

Morgan Stanley was taking its time marketing a $550 million auto loan ABS, backed by collateral originated by Huntington National Bank, which will act as servicer on the deal. The senior/sub, series 2003-HB1 offering consisted of all fixed-rate notes, indexed over EDSF and Swaps. As of Wednesday's close no price guidance had been released, although indicative levels were expected late in the week.

Moving globally, Interstar Millennium brought an $800 million multi-currency securitization of Australian mortgages through Barclays Capital. The 2003-G3 offering featured a $254 million A2 class, with a 3.2-year average life, priced 25 basis points over three-month Libor, out from guidance in the 24 basis point area. The 4.27-year dollar-denominated, double-A rated B1 subs priced at 75 basis points over Libor.

The week also featured an enhanced equipment trust certificate from single-B rated air carrier American Airlines from Citigroup Capital Markets and JPMorgan Securities as joint leads. Totaling $381 million and featuring an Ambac wrap to triple-A, the deal went well, pricing hours after being announced. The only class offered to investors, a $254 million 5.1-year fixed-rate G class, priced at 140 basis points over five-year Treasurys - the tight end of talk.

Credit Suisse First Boston's Home Equity Mortgage Trust was in the market late in the week, with a $370 million fixed- and floating-rate 2003-4 deal. As of Wednesday, HEAT's floating-rate 2.40-year A1 class was being talked in the 36 to 40 basis point area over one-month Libor, with the fixed A2 counterpart having priced Wednesday to yield 2.78%. Triple-B rated subs were offered in the 410 basis point area over Libor or swaps.

Throughout last week, Sallie Mae continued to market its 2003-7 all consolidation loan-backed offering via CSFB and JPMorgan, reportedly taking advantage of the U.S. holiday to make the rounds with European investors, who are unfamiliar with consolidation loan product, but favor the additional spread offered versus traditional student loans.

CNL Financial Services was shopping $175 million of business loan ABS via Wachovia Securities throughout last week, a deal seen pricing this week. CNL funding 2003-1 offered investors $149 million of 6.4-year floaters, as well as $26 million of 6.4-year fixed-rate paper.

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