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Alternative financing: An adventure into the unknown

If Latin IPOs had a resurgence until a couple of months ago, so did structures that were either untried or hadn’t been used in years.

Jerome Booth, Ashmore Investment Management Jerome Booth: leadership

Brazilian fund manager GP Investimentos (Garantia Partners), for instance, raised $300 million on the Brazilian stock market by issuing not ordinary shares but rather Brazilian depositary receipts, or BDRs. The reason is that Garantia Partners is headquartered in Bermuda, so the company needed a listing outside Brazil. Nearly all the liquidity in the stock is on the Brazilian Bovespa, but the official main listing is in Luxembourg. Other Latin companies are also rumoured to be looking at European dual listings: mining and especially financial stocks are well thought of in Europe, and now that Sarbanes-Oxley has made New York listings unattractive it’s entirely possible that banks that can’t find a strategic fit with the likes of HSBC might find themselves floating on a NYSE-owned London Stock Exchange. Bankers suggest that Latin American banks will begin to list in London next year, assuming market conditions are supportive.

And Brazilian low-cost airline Gol, not content with simply being another name in the stock-offering pipeline, is looking at resuscitating the convertible bond market, for a $100 million 20-year issue that may or may not come at some point this year.

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