Much of the talk at the 3rd Annual Securitization in Latin America Summit centered on Mexico, the industry's golden child in terms of recent growth and opportunities. And within that country, the most promise was pinned on real estate. "The mortgage market is by far the biggest area where Mexico can grow," said Jose Antonio Gonzalez, director general for insurance and securities with the Ministry of Finance. The private market originators that dominate the sector, known as Sofols, will need an estimated Ps47.4 billion (US$4.1 billion) of financing in 2006, a 110.8% jump from 2004, according to a presentation by Armando Guzman, chief executive officer of leading Sofol Metrofinanciera. Mortgages will eat up 71% of the total.

On top of that explosive growth is the fact that a traditional state-run funder for the market, the Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal, is slowly pulling out of direct financing for Sofols, as mandated by the government. These are among the factors pushing issuers such as Metrofinanciera to consider the cross-border (see cover story).

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