Latin America market round-up
Argentina: Dollar bond revival
On July 18, the sovereign sold its first dollar bond since the default at the end of 2001, when it issued $500 million of debt maturing in 2012. The bonds, which carried a coupon of 7.99%, were more than three times oversubscribed. Foreign investment banks led investor demand. The new notes will replace Boden bonds, a security the government issued to depositors in exchange for their frozen bank deposits after the default. The bonds are being cancelled.
Venezuela: Chávez plans central bank takeover
Venezuela's lawmakers are passing legislation that will give the government greater influence over the central bank. The law will enable president Hugo Chávez's government to withdraw and spend at least $5 billion of the bank's international reserves.
At $29 billion, Venezuela's reserves are the highest in Latin America (as measured by equivalent weeks-worth of imports), boosted by the high oil price. Analysts are worried that the change in law will undermine the national currency, the bolívar. It could also allow Chávez to fund the country's fiscal deficit through its reserves.
Brazil: Sovereign to exchange Brady C bonds
Brazil is poised to undertake an ambitious liability management exercise.