For the second consecutive week the U.S. ABS primary market was sluggish and transactions marketed throughout the week looked as though they may be held over to this week. Total supply offered was $12.2 billion, but just $6.9 billion had priced as of late Thursday. While the supply overhang was concentrated in the mortgage ABS sector, transactions in consumer assets went quickly, pricing within one day of being announced.
The Metris Companies' highly anticipated return to the ABS market was a blowout, as its $200 million series 2004-1 deal via Banc of America Securities and Deutsche Bank Securities was more than 4x oversubscribed, sources said. The $200 million MBIA wrapped three-year senior class priced at 28 basis points over one-month Libor. The deal went out to the market in the 30 basis point area over Libor.
Honda Motor Co. completed its first auto ABS of the year, a $1.5 billion series 2004-1 deal via Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Securities that moved through the market quickly, but widened from initial price guidance.
One-year A2 paper moved out one basis points from talk, to yield three basis points over EDSF, with two-year A3 and three-year A4 notes pricing at two and four basis points over comparable swaps, respectively. The two-year class priced within guidance, while the three-year A4s were talked in the two- to three-basis point range over swaps.
John Deere Credit Corp.'s equipment finance unit sold $752 million of series 2004-A agricultural and construction equipment loan ABS via Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch. Demand for JDOT 2004-A was strong, sources said, driving spreads tighter in three of the five offered classes.
One-year A1 notes priced at four basis points over EDSF, with two-and three-year seniors yielded five and eight basis points over swaps. The two-year notes moved in two basis points from initial guidance.
Just three mortgage transactions had priced as of Thursday's market close, leaving over $5 billion pending for late last or early this week. Among the deals to price two were deal shelves - ACES Securities and SAIL - with Redwood Trust's Sequoia Trust quickly wrapping up its $822 million prime mortgage transaction via Morgan Stanley.
Still pending as of press time were transactions from AmeriQuest Mortgage's seventh Argent Securities offering, BayView Financial's second transaction of the year, Equity One's second offering, and New Century Financial's first term deal of the year. Shelf vehicles of Bear Stearns and CDC IXIS were also marketing deals in hopes of pricing before week's end.
Hitting the market last week, and likely to price this week, is a $330 million 12b-1 mutual fund fee securitization from the sector's lone remaining issuer, Citibank N.A. The Hedged Mutual Fund Fee Trust series 2004-1 deal, led by Citigroup Global Markets, is the fourth in the series of mutual fund fee ABS imbedded with index put options tied to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100.
The single-tranche, Rule 144A offering, with a March 2012 legal final maturity, is expected to close this week with a yet-to-be disclosed coupon over one-month Libor. The senior class was rated Aa2' by Moody's Investors Service, and double-A by both Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's.