Wednesday, March 3, 2010

End of TALF Spurs CIT, Sallie Mae Bond Sales

Original posted on Bloomberg by Jody Shenn:

CIT Group Inc., the commercial lender that emerged from bankruptcy, and SLM Corp., the student lender, are leading the most asset-backed bond sales in six months under an expiring U.S. program that helped unlock credit markets.

CIT is selling $667 million of bonds backed by equipment leases this week, its first since exiting Chapter 11 in December, said a person familiar with the offering who declined to be identified because terms aren’t public. SLM, known as Sallie Mae, is selling $1.55 billion of securities backed by loans without government guarantees, another person said. Total sales this week may reach almost $7 billion.

The Federal Reserve’s Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, which provides low-cost loans to bond buyers, helped spur $178 billion of issuance last year, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Infrequent issuers or those selling “unusual” debt are unsure if they’ll get yields as low relative to benchmark rates after the program ends tomorrow for non-mortgage debt, said Reed Auerbach of law firm Bingham McCutchen LLP.

“People are taking advantage of the final round because there is some uncertainty as to how the markets will react when TALF goes away,” said Auerbach, chairman of the structured transactions group in New York at Bingham, the top lawyer for asset- and mortgage-backed bond underwriters last year based on the number of transactions.

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