A little over three months since pairing with a Mexican peso deal, MBIA is again on the make. Sticking with toll roads, the guarantor is providing a surety for the Ps3.6 billion (US$327 million) senior tranche of a total Ps4.8 billion (US$436 million) transaction, according to sources. The arranger is BBVA Bancomer, a leader in this asset class and the structurer for the toll road deal with the first wrap (see ASR 5/26, p.1). BBVA roadshowed the transactions a couple of weeks ago, one source said. Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's are rating the subordinated tranche BBB' on the national scale. Final legal maturity is 9.3 years, while average life is 5.3. The benchmark being used is apparently the initial deal, which priced at 24 basis points over the government's 10-year UDI-bond. UDIs are inflation-indexed units. The upcoming transaction is for concessionaire Pacsa and covers the highway from Mexico City to Toluca. Some 24,000 vehicles drive over this road every day. Proceeds will go to refinance debt.

Elsewhere in the sector, Fitch has downgraded the Tijuana-Mexicali toll road deal, sized at 232 million UDIs. The agency now has the transaction at A-' on the national scale, from AA' initially. S&P has also cut the structure to A' from A+.' Arranged by BBVA, the deal has faced problems particular to its region, Baja California. "It's been hit hard by the U.S. slowdown and a drop in maquiladora activity," said Rogelio Arguelles, associate director of Fitch. He stressed that these pressures were not spreading to other toll roads. "If you look at the whole sector, most are doing well," he added.

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