The structured deals best shielded from the meltdown in Argentina have been future flow export-backed transactions, according to a recent report by Standard & Poor's. The agency rates four global deals backed by oil exports of YPF Sociedad Anomina. They are: YPF Sociedad Anonima (SPE) 7.5% structured export notes; YPF Sociedad Anomina (SPE) 7.0% medium-term notes; Oil Enterprises Ltd. 6.239% notes; and Oil Trading Corp. 6.467% notes. Last April, S&P took the first two off CreditWatch and affirmed their BB+ rating, three notches higher than YPF's rating.

Helping insulate the SPEs are the fact that they have been granted exclusions from repatriation requirements affecting other Argentine issuers trapped in the crisis. In addition, oil shipments to Chilean government oil company Empresa Nacional de Petroleo (ENAP) - also backing the deals have been made on time. The Oil Enterprises and Oil Trading Corp. bonds enjoy a wrap by MBIA Insurance Corp. and Capital Markets Assurance Corp., respectively. "The insurer will make payments to investors if the company is unable to export or must repatriate the export proceeds due to government restrictions," S&P said in a report.

Fitch also sees a glimmer of hope in export-backed deals amid the detritus of defaulted structured issues. "Even though most market players are waiting for a clarification of the economic and institutional environment, several export-related future flow transactions are being proposed for consideration," the agency said in a report. The deals are likely to be no longer than nine months and denominated in dollars.

Still smarting from the massive default of Argentine issuers, U.S. investors are unlikely to take a look at Argentine deals. Fitch sees the potential buyers coming mainly from the ranks of local pension funds, which, despite the economic collapse, are still receiving Ps70 million to Ps100 million in monthly contributions.

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