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Borrower View: Brazil marches towards investment grade

Joaquim Levy, Brazil’s treasury secretary, tells Lawrence White how the sovereign is restructuring its debt management profile.

“We are embarking on a programme of liability adjustment, partly focused on reducing our dollar exposure. We’re now rolling over only 75% of maturing debt, and we’ve exercised the call option on the Brady bonds.”
Joaquim Levy

Brazil plans to confine its recently announced tax breaks for foreign investors to local currency government securities, says treasury secretary Joaquim Levy. The exemption means that international investors will still have to pay tax on income when buying local corporate bonds. However, there will be significant indirect benefits for Brazilian companies if more investors come to the market, he adds. “The government is not considering extending these tax breaks to corporations,” Levy says. “However, there will be an advantage for the private sector in that a greater range of investors will be able to access the government bond market, which should help to extend the yield curve. We want investors to come to the domestic market and contribute to the establishment of a benchmark, which companies can then trade off. At the moment many investors choose to access the market through synthetics, which is OK, but it has its limitations: direct entrance has a big impact on price and this is very important for us.”

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