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Capital markets: ABN Amro revamps for Latin thrust

Dutch bank is eyeing opportunities in credit-driven trades.

ABN Amro has reorganized its Latin American coverage and is starting to reap the benefits. It was one of the bookrunners on CVRD’s record-breaking bond deal last month. The Brazilian iron ore producer sold Latin America’s biggest ever global bond, issuing $3.75 billion of 10- and 30-year paper.

Pablo Venturino, ABN Amro’s head of Latin American debt capital markets, says that this year the bank has made real progress in the region, which, for the first time, is expected to account for one-third of the firm’s emerging markets profits this financial year. After a restructuring that involves all the country teams – including Brazil – reporting to its New York office, ABN Amro is an interesting example of how smaller banks are tackling Latin America by focusing on specific products and countries.

Radar screen

“We have put a great deal of effort into integrating Brazil with the rest of our Latin America operation, whereas in the past it has been more like a separate region,” says Venturino. “We’re not trying to be among the top two or three banks in Latin America debt league tables, because to get there you have to do big sovereign deals and we’re not necessarily on all of their radar screens.

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