Pre-Thanksgiving supply flooded the asset-backed primary market, pricing over $13 billion across all sectors, including a sea container deal and the second wholesale dealer floorplan ABS seen this year. Home equity supply continued to dominate the landscape, but is becoming a tougher sell, evidenced by the cheapening of sub bonds in recent weeks.
The rush of home equity supply has been unrelenting of late, and as a result spreads have widened significantly. While wrapped senior paper is now clearing in the 40 basis point area over one-month Libor, triple-B subs have continued widening, and are approaching the 400 basis point threshold over one-month Libor.
Top-tier issuers in the right sectors, however, continue to see strong demand. The latest example of this is DaimlerChrysler N.A. Holdings, which priced its second floorplan ABS of the year and just the second the market has seen to date in 2002.
The $1 billion 2002-B trade, led solely by Salomon Smith Barney, priced its single-tranche offering with a coupon of 3.5 basis points over one-month Libor, at 99.98823 equating to a 6 basis point discount margin versus Libor. Daimler last sold floorplan ABS May 29, with a $2 billion three-year offering via Morgan Stanley that also priced at 6 basis points over one-month Libor.
But that was the only big-three representation, as the remainder of the $3.9 billion total of auto supply came from either regional banks or independent finance companies.
Household Finance, offering its third ABS in as many weeks, priced $1.5 billion of 2002-3 notes via Banc of America Securities and Deutsche Bank Securities. The trade went smoothly, offering investors a mix of MBIA wrapped fixed- and floating-rate supply, albeit at levels of 38 basis points over Swaps for two-year and 47 basis points over Swaps for three-year triple-As.
Staying with the independent lenders, CarMax Inc., formerly a unit of Circuit City Stores, priced its fist auto loan ABS since being spun off in an October IPO. In the market via Wachovia Securities, CarMax was also wrapped by MBIA.
A pair of Alabama-based regional banks were seen last week, one of which had not securitized since 1994 and the other was making its ABS debut. New South FSB brought a $137 million Ambac-wrapped fixed-rate deal that broke an eight-year seal on tapping the ABS market. Regions Acceptance LLC tapped the market for the first time ever, with an $800 million fixed-rate senior/sub offering.
New South, which offers lending services to the entire U.S. despite being located in Birmingham, the company claims to satisfy customers in all 50 states "from one inconvenient location," according to the bank's website. Banc One Capital Markets was sole manager on the deal.
Regions sold its $800 million via Merrill Lynch & Co. and Morgan Keegan, a Regions sister company and fellow newcomer to the ABS market. The all fixed-rate transaction had yet to price as of press time, but was on track to do so late Thursday.
In credit cards, Household completed the $840 million three-year 2002-3 trade it had in the market via Credit Suisse First Boston and JPMorgan Securities prior to HSBC's acquisition was announced. Following the news, investors snapped up supply, moving spreads for senior notes into a coupon of 27 basis points over one-month Libor, versus talk in the low 30 basis point area.
FleetBoston Financial sold a $750 million three-year 2002-C transaction through Lehman Brothers as lead. The fixed-rate triple-A seniors priced just outside of a sector benchmark, with a spread of seven basis points over Swaps to yield 2.77%. Single-A rated sub floaters priced at 40 basis points over one-month Libor.
Sears Roebuck Acceptance Corp., the latest issuer to feel a backlash with recent financial disclosures, was set to price an $840 million three-year floater Friday via Deutsche Bank Securities and Morgan Stanley. The triple-As were talked in the mid to high 30 basis point area, a far cry from the 13 basis points over Libor, Sears saw with its most recent three-year print in September.
In more esoteric assets, once the orders from Europe and the U.S. were set, Sallie Mae wrapped up its $2 billion multi-currency consolidation loan ABS (see ASR 11/18/02) through CSFB and Salomon jointly. Despite some weakening in the three-year dollar and the 10.7-year Euro tranches, Spreads were still reasonably tight, with three-year triple-As pricing at four basis points over three-month Libor and 10-year notes pricing at 27 basis points over three-month Euribor.
GE SeaCo. completed its first-ever marine-equipment ABS via Wachovia Securities. The Ambac wrapped 2002-1 deal moved wider versus initial guidance, pricing at 60 basis points over one-month Libor for the five-year triple-A rat4ed A class.