Defying signs that a domestic currency transaction would breezily seize the award for Latin American Deal of the Year, the honors instead went to a cross-border deal: Metrofinanciera Trust 2005-1 and 2005-2. Nearly all the strongest contenders were issued in Mexican pesos and Brazilian reais, steady examples of the dizzying growth of the structured finance business in these markets.

Yet the only serious cross-border candidate turned out to be the best deal. Backed by bridge loans for construction, the winner was sized at $210 million and split into a $60 million unwrapped tranche and a $150 million wrapped tranche. Namesake Metrofinanciera, based in Mexico, was the originator.

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