The number of Argentine domestic ABS and the sizes of the sector's largest deals have shot up in the first four months of the year from the same period last year, according to a recent report by local asset manager Gainvest. The total volume of deals hit Ps1.21bn ($420 million), a 377% leap from the Jan-April timeframe in 2004. The number of deals, meanwhile, reached 33. During the first four months of 2005 the busiest lead managers have been Compania Inversora Bursatil and Banco de Valores, which have jointly brought 13 deals to market; Banco Patagonia, with 6 transactions under its belt; and Rosario Fiduciaria, with three, according to the Gainvest report.

On the cross border front, Brazilian steelmaker and future flows veteran Companhia Siderurgica Nacional is apparently eyeing the market for a $150m transaction, which has been rated BBB-' by Fitch Ratings. The deal will be backed by the future sale of a range of steel products, including slabs, hot and cold rolled products, tinplate and galvanized products, according to a Fitch report. The structure is three notches above CSN's corporate rating of BB-'. The company usually exports between 20%-40% of total sales, with the share totaling 28% last year.

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