The issuance last week of collateralized Paris Club debt owed by Russia to Germany in a deal known as Aries spurred talk that other debtors may eventually follow suit. "It's definitely a first effort to make this debt market-based," said Jose Barrionuevo, head of Emerging Market strategy at Barclays Capital. Other countries, he added, might be good candidates down the road, but would have to steady their economies first.

Among the Latin American countries that are beholden to members of the Paris Club, the group's Web site has fairly current figures for Ecuador, which owed the Club US$2.7 billion as of January; Dominican Republic (US$1.6 billion); Honduras (US$1.4 billion); and Nicaragua (US$1.6 billion).

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