LONDON - Panelists at Standard & Poor's Latin American and Emerging Markets Forum in here last week identified the key events that have affected the structured finance markets in Latin America and other emerging markets over the past 12 to 18 months. Major points of discussion included the global slowdown in economic activity, the events of Sept. 11, and the financial crises in Argentina and Turkey.

The global economic slowdown has contributed to lower commodity prices, which have negatively affected the performance of some commodity export deals. The downturn in prices has contributed to issuer balance-sheet problems, but generally the overcollateralization levels on these transactions tend to be high, providing a good buffer to absorb the downturn.

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