Depending on the criteria, volumes in Brazil's structured finance market either boomed or tanked last year. Factoring in private deals that are widely understood to be entirely tax-motivated, volumes hit about R$15.5 billion ($8.7 billion), a nearly 29% leap from 2006, according to data collected by local consultancy Uqbar.

"A lot of [activity] has shifted to private placements," said Chuck Spragins, a partner at Uqbar.

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