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Financial institutions: Santander Brasil takes Asian loan

Part of south-south trade flow trend; More such deals are likely

Latin American financial institutions are taking advantage of the increased interest in the region from Asian banks, driven by the growth in south-south trade flows, to secure syndicated loans. Santander Brasil and Bladex, a regional supranational, are the latest to close a loan that is exclusively financed by Asian banks, thus diversifying their investment bases and thereby establishing and deepening strategic relationships with Asia’s financial institutions ahead of further corporate transactions between the two regions.

David Costa, head of Latin America at Mizuho Corporate Bank, which along with Standard Chartered was lead arranger and bookrunner on the $155 million Santander Brasil transaction, which involved five other Asian banks, says recent growth in these deals should continue. Mizuho and Taiwan Cooperative Bank were the lead arrangers on Bladex’s $130 million, three-year loan – its third loan in the Asian markets

Syndicated loan

Last year Santander Chile and Banco Itaú Chile also took out loans from a syndicate of Asian banks.

"Asian-based syndicated loans for Latin American financial institutions will be a trend for 2011," says Costa. "There has definitely been an increase in Asian banks targeting Latin American financial institutions. The background is the increased trade activity generally between Latin America and Asia, and especially between China and Brazil, and so a lot of Asian banks want to expand the relationships in Latin America."

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