Despite securitization/whole loan ratios being reversed in favor of whole loans this quarter, and issuance set at a slower pace from last year, New Century will launch two deals in the coming weeks. The St. Paul, Minn.based firm has readied two subprime home equity offerings which will land before the end of the quarter, one of which will not be led by long-time underwriter Salomon Smith Barney.

Salomon will lead a $200 million to $300 million adjustable-rate transaction scheduled for launch in the third or fourth week of this month. Another HEL deal scheduled for the third week of June will be a $250 million fixed-rate offering led by two investment banks other than Salomon. Pat Flanagan, president of NC Capital Corp., the New Century subsidiary that completes all the loan sales and securitizations for the firm, would not name the new underwriters as the parties were "still formalizing relationships."

Salomon has managed 13 of New Century's last 15 securitizations. The firm's first two ABS HEL securitizations were led by Greenwich Capital.

New Century was heavily overweighted last quarter in ABS financing. The firm securitized two-thirds of its collateral. This quarter looks to be a reversal of that, as the firm seesaws its whole loan sales and ABS to meet a 50/50 strategy that comprises both methods by the end the year. The firm is set to securitize $3.7 billion to $3.8 billion for the year versus last year's $3.2 billion; what Flanagan called "more controlled growth." - SK

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