The U.S. ABS primary market had a sluggish week with just over $5 billion having priced heading into Friday's session. Business is expected to remain fairly slow throughout traditionally languid August, a reality likely to continue through the upcoming Republican National Convention.
GE Capital Corp. made a strong showing in the dealer floorplan sector, pricing the first two deals off of its newly created master note trust, which was formed following the acquisition of Transamerica Commercial Finance Corp. Banc of America Securities and Citigroup Global Markets acted as joint leads on both transactions. The Transamerica portfolio was combined with the Distribution Financial portfolio acquired in 2001.
GE Floorplan Master Trust 2004-1 and 2004-2 totaled $2.5 billion senior/subordinated offerings and both priced inside price guidance across the credit spectrum. The triple-A rated 2.94-year 2004-1 notes came in line with guidance, at five basis points over one-month Libor, while the 2.94-year triple-B rated subordinates were three points tighter at 47 basis points over Libor.
The simultaneously offered 2004-2 from the trust was another $1.25 billion offering, which priced largely in line with expectations with the triple-A class coming in on target at eight points over one-month Libor. Both deals were increased from the initial $1 billion apiece.
Real estate ABS had a relatively slow week with roughly $2.5 billion in total volume from two issuers, though numerous transactions circulated at weekend. Countrywide Home Loans Inc. came with a $1.22 billion HELOC offering, once again sharing its lead mandate with new friend RBS Greenwich Capital. The triple-A rated 3.55-year notes priced with guidance at 28 basis points over one-month Libor.
Fremont Mortgage wrapped up a $272 million series 2004-2 C-Bass serviced floating-rate senior/sub home equity deal via sole lead RBS Greenwich. The $116 million 2A2 triple-A senior class priced at 32 basis points over one-month Libor, right in line with indicative levels.
Morgan Stanley filled out the sector with a $1.17 billion home equity transaction. Most classes of the multi-tranche offering came with guidance. The only exception were the two 5.27-year B1 and B2 subordinates, which priced inside talk at 190 and 200 basis points over one-month Libor, representing a two-point tightening in both classes. Meanwhile, the 2.99-year triple-A notes were on target at 30 points over Libor. The 5.29-year double-A minus class priced with guidance 62 points over. Down in credit, the 5.27-year subordinates also priced with guidance at 350 points over.
Also in the sector, First Franklin was still shopping its $1.5 billion home equity as of Thursday evening. Soundview Mortgage, New Century and the Home Equity Asset Trust vehicle from Credit Suisse First Boston were also marketing offerings that were expected to price Friday.
In the credit card sector, Bank One N.A. was the only participant, tapping the market for $300 million in general-purpose bank loans. The single-tranche fixed rate offering was upsized from an initial $200 million. The five-year single-A rated series 2004-B2 deal priced right on guidance at 32 basis points over Swaps, to yield 4.412%.