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Latin America’s best investment bank 2022: BofA Securities

BofA Securities has had a busy year in which it demonstrated impressive breadth of deal-flow across countries, as well as regional leadership in two of the main product areas. Not only was the bank the best investment bank in Colombia and Peru, but it was also a close challenger for the Mexican and Brazilian awards. It is this unmatched geographical balance that makes BofA the region’s leading investment bank.

It felt like BofA, led by head of investment banking for Latin America Augusto Urmeneta, was everywhere during the past 12 months as Latin America’s corporates finally emerged from their pandemic-induced torpor and investment banking flourished once again.

It was the leading equity capital markets bank during the awards period. Not only did it top the league tables for the region (with a 12.4% market share from 34 deals worth a total of $4.4 billion, according to Dealogic) it also topped the rankings in Brazil – an ECM market dominated by the local investment banks in recent years.

Augusto Umeneta_400x225.jpg
Augusto Umeneta

The bank’s ability to win global coordinating mandates for large Brazilian IPOs, such as Raizen’s $1.3 billion deal in August and April’s $900 million transaction for Caixa Seguridade, as well as large follow-ons, such as the $2.3 billion transaction for Petrobras Distribuidora and Banco Inter’s $1.1 billion equity issuance, shows that the bank is a thorn in the local players’ sides when it comes to the leading roles that require a large international bid.

Elsewhere in Latin America, BofA also chalked up ECM mandates in the lower frequency markets. The bank was lead left on Meli Kaszek Pioneer’s IPO in Argentina; it led on two special purpose acquisition company IPOs from Mexico (LatAmGrowth and APx Capital). It was lead left and global coordinator for both Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA’s $1.1 billion and AQM’s $1.2 billion follow-ons in Chile.

The US investment bank was also a heavyweight in Latin American DCM, with a top-three ranking and a 10% market share. It led 55 international bonds from issuers across Latin America, from Femsa’s $1.2 billion sustainability-linked bond (SLB) in Mexico to the Province of Buenos Aires $7 billion restructuring in the south and many places in between including: Aeropuerto International’s $1.85 billion bond in Panama; Suzano’s $1 billion sustainability-linked bond (SLB) in Brazil; and Peru’s two sovereign deals – the bank being the global coordinator on its euro-denominated SLB in November.

The bank ran deals for sovereign and quasi-sovereign credits, as well as high-yield and high-grade corporates, and demonstrated leadership across products, including green bonds, different currencies and liability management trades. It was active across industries, from the emerging Latin American theme of fintech (XP) to the traditional themes of mining (Minsur) and energy (Petroperu), with many landmarks along the way, such as JLB’s lowest ever coupon for a 30-year bond in Brazil in January 2022.

The bank also had a solid if unspectacular year in M&A, with noteworthy deals again spread around the region including: Colombia, where the bank was exclusive adviser to Grupa Sura in multiple unsolicited offers; Argentina, as exclusive adviser to Neo Lithium on its sale to Zijin Mining Group; Brazil, as exclusive adviser to Neoway Tecnnologia in its sale to B3; Mexico, where it advised a US-based sovereign wealth fund on its acquisition of 10% of Sempra Infrastructure, a Mexican subsidiary of Sempra Energy; and Peru, advising Entel on the sale of three of its data centres in Chile and one in Peru.

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