Times were hard for Latin American securitizations in 1999. The year started off with the market battered by the aftershocks from the Asian and Russian crises, saw Brazil devalue its currency and ended amidst speculations on Y2K. "It was a rough year," said Julio Torres vice-president at Chase Securities in New York.

Though Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) launched billion dollar deals during the first two quarters of the year (Pemex sold $1 billion and PDVSA $1.2 billion), sources agreed that the deals were not a reflection of good market conditions. "Pemex and PDVSA are regular issuers of export-receivables deals," said

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