While most of the Argentine market remains frozen in suspended animation, the export sector can't keep still. The thinly disguised YPF trust that dropped a two-tranche US$357 million deal in late December is at it again, this time with a US$163 million single-tranche deal, rated Aaa by Moody's Investors Service (see ASR 1/13/03, p.1). Underwriter Morgan Stanley and legal counsel Mayer, Brown, Rowe, and Maw are still on board from the first placement. The insurer and pricing, however, are different. XL is guaranteeing the deal instead of Ambac, and the yield on the 2009 deal came at 3.9%, from 3.98% in the first issue. Again, those involved are keeping their lips sealed about the deal, which is backed by oil receivables. A market participant away from the deal said he wasn't too surprised about YPF's prompt return after the results of the first issue. "The structure makes good use of a parent company's contingent supply," he said. Based in Spain, YPF's parent company Repsol is rated Baa2'/'BBB' from Moody's and Standard & Poor's.

In the domestic Argentina market, HSBC Argentina, Banco Rio de la Plata and BBVA Banco Frances have structured an export-related CLO of up to US$15 million. Collateral is loans that the three banks are extending to export companies Molinos Rios de la Plata, Tecpetrol and Benvenuto. "The companies are signing a promissory note under New York law," said Eduardo D'Orazio, a director of Fitch Argentina. That should mitigate concerns surrounding local securization rules since the country defaulted and imposed a blanket swap of dollar debt into pesos.

Fitch has rated the deal A3(arg) on the national, short-term scale. Its risk is based entirely on the export companies. Total loans in the CLO to Benvenuto, the smallest of the three exports, cannot exceed US$1.5 million. Echoing a pair of recent export-related deals issued domestically, the transaction will carry a short maturity (see ASR 1/20/03 p.25, Table 4: Latin America Domestic Securitization Record'). Its final maturity is 185 days, but depending on the rate of the loan payments, portions might be prepaid as early as 151 days from issuance. Bruchou, Fernandez, Madero, Lombardi y Mitrani is legal counsel on the transaction.

Copyright 2003 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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