The new offering onslaught eased somewhat Friday with $625 million priced, bringing the week's unofficial new paper total past $10 billion.

"We're pretty tired," one syndicate official said Friday, adding that he expects issuance to be slower this week than last.

"I think we'll see good volume, but I don't think it will be of the same magnitude as last week," another syndicate desk member said.

IDD Information Services figures show last Tuesday as the week's heaviest day with $4.1 billion of new debt priced.

Wednesday followed with $2.5 billion; Monday saw $1.15 billion of new debt priced, and Thursday tallied $1.8 billion, IDD's figures show. IDD's total through last Thursday is $9.6 billion.

A few syndicate desk sources said Lehman Brothers had a hefty amount of leftover inventory because it priced deals very aggressively.

"They're the American Airlines of the bond business," one said.

"Those kind of comments amount to nothing more than sniping," a Lehman Brothers spokesman said.

Another underwriter outside Lehman said he would not be surprised if the firm did get caught with a lot of paper simply because it underwrote a lot of deals.

Among this week's expected offerings is a $1 billion 10-year offering by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. That debt will be offered as a global issue outside of Japan, one source said. Lehman Brothers and CS First Boston will underwrite the deal, he said.

In secondary trading, high-grades ended a quiet day unchanged to down 1/4 point. High-yield bonds finished firm and quiet.

New Issues

Praxair Inc. issued $300 million of 8.7% debentures due 2022 at par. Noncallable for 10 years, the debentures were priced to yield 109 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's Investors Service rates the offering Baa2, while Standard & Poor's Corp. rates it BBB. Goldman, Sachs & Co. lead managed the offering.

Korea Development Bank issued $300 million of 7% senior notes due 1999. The noncallable notes were priced at 98.535 to yield 7.271%, or 84 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Al, while Standard & Poor's rates it A-plus. Merrill Lynch & Co. was lead manager.

Federal Farm Credit Bank issued $25 million of 6.020% medium-term notes due 1997 at par. Noncallable for a year, the notes were priced to yield 15 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Merrill Lynch & Co. managed the offering.

Friday's Ratings

Matsushita Electric's proposed $1 billion bond issue received an Aaa rating from Moody's.

"The rating reflects the company's outstanding financial characteristics including a good liquidity position, moderate debt, and strong cash-flow generation," a Moody's release says.

Standard & Poor's upgraded Town & Country Corp.'s subordinated debt to CC from D after the payment of interest due June 15 and July 1 on two issues. Both payments came within their 30-day grace periods.

The action by Standard & Poor's affects about $119 million of rated debt. The company's implied senior rating is CCC.

"However, continued operating difficulties, coupled with uncertainty regarding the banks' unwillingness to fund operations beyond Oct. 31, could result in further events of default," Standard & Poor's says.

Moody's has lowered Minolta Camera Co. Ltd.'s long-term debt rating to Ba2 from Baa3 and those of its financially supported subsidiary, Minolta Europe Finance B.V., to Ba3 from Ba1.

"The downgrade reflects Moody's belief that Minolta's earnings and cash flow will come under considerable pressure because of the sluggish market situation in the camera and business machines markets," the Moody's release says.

"Moody's also considered the weakening of Minolta's balance sheet, caused by the $127.5 million (YEN 16.6 bil) payment to Honeywell Inc. in the settlement of patent infringement claims," the release says.

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