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Best Corporate Borrowers

Latin America: CVRD

Minerals conglomerate Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) has long been regarded as one of the foremost companies in Latin America. It proved that it could leverage that perception into long-dated funds in September, when it became the first Brazilian corporate to issue 10-year debt.

Bank of America Securities, which had the mandate for the deal from CVRD, was cautious at first. It set up a securitization programme based on income from the export of iron ore and pellets to designated customers in Europe, the USA and Asia, and managed to get an investment-grade rating on the structure from Moody's, Standard&Poor's and Fitch. Greg Johnson, head of yankee capital markets at Bank of America, notes that S&P's BBB-rating "was the first time S&P had ever rated a stand-alone trade receiveable deal more than three notches above the sovereign ceiling."

The obvious next move was to go to MBIA to get a wrap on the deal - a piece of insurance that would bring it all the way up to a triple-A rating. MBIA agreed to wrap up to $200 million at seven years' maturity, and the sales force got to work.

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