Crossover nerves fuel contagion of doubt

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Contagion from US domestic corporate bond markets infected Latin American debt in the last months of the year, reversing earlier strong performance by Latin bonds that rallied on the improving credit fundamentals of Mexico and Brazil. It’s one of the downsides for Latin borrowers of having their foreign debt now predominantly owned by so-called crossover investors, not Latin specialists. These nervous buyers bring added volatility to a market where periodic panics, such as that recently surrounding Argentina, are a regular feature. They won’t even consider financing the region’s corporate borrowers, which must now hope domestic markets develop quickly. Danielle Robinson reports