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Banking

Brazil: Difficult times are lucrative for debt bankers

As the equity market continues to struggle in Brazil, the local debt market is growing in importance. The challenge is to find enough bankers to fill the demand.

"Over the past three years the banks have focused on the equity markets," says one banker. "They have hired and trained equity bankers. Now the equity market has taken a turn for the worse and we need to deliver more sophisticated debt solutions. But there aren’t enough experienced and trained debt bankers. It’s becoming a serious problem."

Brazil’s primary equity issuance has fallen from 64 IPOs in 2007 to only four so far this year. Equity pricing remains difficult and even the follow-on trades that have come to market have struggled. The debt market has suffered too – which is not surprising given the turmoil globally – but, as non-investment grade corporates struggle to raise funds in the stock market, they are turning to the local debenture and securitization markets instead.

"We are doing a lot of ABS deals now. Last year I pitched ABS deals to corporates and banks and they all said ‘no’. Now they are calling me asking for help to release more cash," adds the banker.

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