Not awarded Best debt house
The Argentine economy is in great shape, growing at a healthy pace with low inflation thanks to sound fiscal and monetary policies, high commodity prices, and the fact that the government is not servicing a hundred billion dollars or so in external debt.
But the banking system is paralysed. It is taking deposits, but there is essentially no lending, and the system as a whole remains insolvent. Tough decisions on the degree to which the banks will be bailed out by the government have yet to be made.
But a lot of capital markets activity is going on. Citigroup did an excellent job restructuring $1.27 billion in bonds and loans of Banco Hipotecario, which became the first Argentine financial institution to complete a restructuring since the country?s default at the end of 2001.
But the best debt house in Argentina this year is Deutsche Bank. It didn?t lead manage the first Argentine bond since the default ? that honour went to Merrill Lynch, with a 10-year deal for Petrobras Energia in October.