On Nov. 27, HSBC Argentina priced the country's first commodity-backed deal since the financial crisis blew up about a year ago. Though relatively trim, the US$8.8 million securitization, Fideiagro-Hexagon VIII, sets the stage for further agriculture trusts, especially in light of the reasonable pricing. "This could be the start of the trend," said a source on the deal. Other banks, such as Banco de Rio, are understood to be nurturing their own deals. First Trust of New York is the trustee on Hexagon VIII.

Amounting to US$6.1 million, the senior tranche of the deal priced at 7%, according to sources familiar with the transaction. The collateral is comprised of loans to roughly 150 producers bearing an average weighted yield of approximately 13%. Compare that with the 30% rates being charged for loans to most exporters and the lure of structured deals is inescapable.

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