Last year, Mexican state agency Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal (SHF)was on track to cut off direct funding of mortgage origination for nonbank entities known as Sofols by the end of 2009.

But thanks to tighter liquidity, the government dropped the deadline so lenders struggling to attract market investors don't have to be concerned with weaning themselves off this funding source. That shift is only one aspect of a broader, more muscular role for the SHF, one that market players view with some ambivalence, even though most agree it has helped sustain lending.

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