Traditionally the poor cousin to Latin America's larger issuers, Central America won respect in 2002. As deals evaporated elsewhere, New York bankers descended on the sleepy countries of the isthmus.

Though some transactions - like Banco Salvadoreno's MT-100 - remain on hold (see ASR 11/25, p.17), at least one made it through right before the holiday break. Led by Salomon Smith Barney, that deal amounted to US$125 million and was backed by credit-card receivables.

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