The anticipated post-conference explosion in ABS new-issue supply lived up to its billing last week, pricing over $10 billion as of Thursday's close and nearly $3 billion slated for Friday. The auto loan sector finally came out of hibernation, pricing more supply last week than it had seen throughout January. Additionally, there were notable lead manager dynamics throughout the week, including a sneak preview of how execution might play out after the completed merger of JPMorgan Chase and Bank One Corp.
The pair jointly led two offerings last week, one from Bank One's BOIT credit card vehicle, the other from JPMorgan's Chase Funding ABS Trust. In a move reminiscent of when Chase and JPMorgan merged and quickly jointly led in-house offerings, the two banks seemingly cannot wait for the day of marriage to hop into bed.
The bank with the most business last week was Merrill Lynch, which sold an auto loan, credit card and home equity deal for roughly $2 billion in proceeds sold throughout the week.
But the news to start the week was the supply in the auto loan sector, which saw $4.2 billion of bonds placed - more than twice the supply that priced in January. Also, the first rental fleet lease ABS priced.
Back in the market for the first time in two years, National City Bank priced an $815 million series 2004-A transaction via Merrill. Nat City's first offering since March 2002 went well, tightening in both the one- and two-year classes by a basis points prior to pricing at levels of four basis points over EDSF for one-year A1 and four basis points over swaps for A3 paper.
WFS Financial's $1.5 billion 2004-1 offering also went well via Citigroup Global Markets, tightening two to five basis points across the capital structure. Two-year A3 paper priced at nine basis points over swaps, while 3.12-year A4 notes priced at 12 basis points over swaps, two through initial talk. Triple-B rated sub bonds priced five basis points inside of initial guidance, to yield 120 basis points over EDSF.
Goldman Sachs's Huntington Bank (70%) and Ford Motor Credit (30%) loan-backed GSALT 2004-1 offering wrapped up quickly in the week, pricing in line with guidance for senior notes and 10 basis points tighter for triple-B subs.
Also, Avis' AESOP sold $600 million of rental fleet ABS via Banc One Capital Markets and Credit Suisse First Boston, clearing at one basis point through price talk in each class.
Aside from the aforementioned Bank One credit card ABS, $650 million of five-year fixed-rate notes, MBNA America Bank tapped the market for $600 million in a seven-year triple-A floater, pricing at 15 basis points over one-month Libor via Banc One and Merrill.
With $8.3 billion total making the rounds in the home equity sector last week, the deals were numerous and sizeable. GMAC-RFC priced two offerings, $990 million of RASC notes via Banc of America Securities and Bear Stearns and $875 million of RAMP product via Citigroup. Fellow GMAC unit GMAC Mortgage was marketing $497 million of HELOC paper, in a private 2004-VF1 transaction, via Bear Stearns.
Accredited Lenders Inc., First Franklin Mortgage, and Fremont Mortgage all priced deals in the $500 million range.
Late in the week, the market was awaiting the completion of a $1.7 billion securitization from Lehman's SAIL shelf and a $1 billion AmeriQuest Mortgage unit Argent Securities Inc., led by Deutsche Bank Securities and Morgan Stanley.