Last week was quiet on the issuance front of the cross-border market of Latin American originators, but some recent news is likely to spur activity down the road. First, bankers are no doubt licking their chops over unconfirmed media reports that Brazilian mining company Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) is bidding for a controlling interest in Canada's Noranda to the tune of US$4.7 billion. A familiar name to ABS investors, CVRD might decide to finance some of the purchase via securitization if the deal goes through, a banker said. The bank last tapped an export receivables program in late July 2003. JP Morgan Securities led that deal, sized at US$250 million, with a seven-year maturity.

Elsewhere, talk circulated that Banco Bradesco has mandated ABN Amro for a US$100 million deal backed by diversified payment rights (DPR). The last time the bank paid the ABS market a visit it halved a US$400 million DPR deal into an unwrapped and wrapped tranche. No word yet on whether a monoline is on board for the upcoming deal.

Finally, Standard & Poor's upgraded the long-term global currency rating on Trinidad and Tobago to BBB+' from BBB', citing stronger fiscal and external balance sheets. Even though the government fully owns the Petroleum Co. of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin), the agency pointedly left the company's rating at BBB-'. Nevertheless, the move re-energized buzz that the company may be in the market soon. "They've been looking to fund capex for some time," a banker said. Higher marks for the sovereign might embolden the company to move more aggressively.

Petrotrin last issued an ABS in December 2001. Handled by Deutsche Bank Securities, that deal reached US$200 million and had a 12-year maturity.

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