For 2003, Latin America's cross-border enthusiasts have their sights trained on financial future-flows in Brazil, known as MT-100s. Barring a sustained war with Iraq, market watchers foresee a busier year than election-marred 2002, particularly for transactions backed by trade-related payment rights. "It's going to take a bit more time, but I believe from March onwards, we're going to see deals," said Delcio Blajfeder, general manager of debt capital markets at Banco do Brasil.

A trinity of major domestic banks - Banco Itau, Unibanco and Banco do Brasil - put out a handful of deals in 2002. Though the sector far outpaced others out of Brazil, it still suffered from the sour mood surrounding elections in October. More recently investors have been easing up on President Jose Inacio Lula da Silva. "Up to now the signs are good, he appears to be doing what the market thinks is important," said Carlos Alberto Martins, deputy director of structured finance at BankBoston Brazil.

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