Having proved their worth in 2003, Turkish structured deals are poised for a receptive market in the year ahead, as long as geopolitical tremors don't fly off the charts, sources said. Cheaper financing for emerging market issuers, investors longing for a Brazil alternative and positive ratings action are sure to feed an appetite for Turkey. "There's a comfort level because [Turkish deals] have done well through a lot of geopolitical turbulence," said Kevin Kime, a director at Standard & Poor's. That, sources said, has furnished the backdrop for a pickup in activity in 2004.

So far this year, WestLB has closed a US$150 million deal backed by debit and credit card receivables for Turkiye Is Bankasi (Isbank). Moody's Investors Service rated the deal Baa2'.

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