Last week's ABS market got off to a slow start, mainly due to the holiday-shortened week. About $7 billion in U.S. dollar ABS priced through Thursday, though $4.6 billion of that came from the king-sized Permanent Financing No. 3, Halifax Plc's U.K. RMBS issuance vehicle, which had been floating in the pipeline since late October.

Several deals began marking on Wednesday and Thursday, including a $750 million triple-A senior from Capital One's COMET shelf, to compliment the $250 million single-A subs that priced on Wednesday. Both transactions are co-lead by Credit Suisse First Boston and Bank of America Securities.

All told, investors were bracing for well over $6 billion in new issues still marketing on Friday.

Sallie Mae launched a massive $2.5 billion deal last week, via Citigroup Global Markets, CSFB and Merrill Lynch. On the real estate side, a $200 million deal was being shopped for Irwin Financial, as well as an $870 million New Century deal, a $700 million Sequoia Mortgage deal, and a $750 million Aussie RMBS transaction off the SMHL Global platform.

Meanwhile, CNH Global was able to squeeze in its second retail equipment lease backed deal of the year, which arrived in strong demand via Deutsche Bank Securities and Merrill Lynch. Several of the tranches were sized to the fixed/floating bid, and the deal was upsized to $1.15 billion. The money market class priced at one under five-month Libor, while the year fixed rate triple-A priced at 18 over EDSF.

First Investor Services brought its first auto deal of the year via Wachovia Securities. The $140 million, single triple-A class priced in line with guidance, at 65 basis points over EDSF.

Time-share

Starwood Vacation Ownership Inc. entered the market last week, and Cendant Corp.'s Sierra 2003-2, a $300 million time-share securitization, was expected to launch on Friday.

Guidance on Starwood's $171 million time-share deal went out on Thursday. ING and Banc One Capital Markets are joint leads with SG Cowen as a co-manager. The vehicle issuing the notes is SVO 2003-A VOI Mortgage Corp., and the underlying asset collateral is a pool of nearly 16,000 time-share loans.

Market pundits undoubtedly recognize Starwood's name, given its parent is one of the leading hospitality companies in the world, controlling the Sheraton, Westin, "W", St. Regis and Luxury Collection brands.

The deal is carved into four classes of notes carrying an average life of 3.5 years, with the ratings from triple-A to triple-B. The triple-A offerings were talked at 95 basis points over swaps. Further guidance was not available as of press time, but pricing is expected this week.

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