Mexico's Sterling Effort

Mar 1, 2004

Mexico sold the largest-ever bond in British pounds placed by an emerging market issuer, locking in low prices in a demanding market that few Latin American issuers can access on a regular basis.

Most Latin American market bonds are denominated in dollars, a few in euros and almost none in British pounds. The sterling market is comparatively small and Britain's institutional investors are usually perfectly happy to buy bonds in other currencies and swap them into sterling.

So it was surprising that the Mexican government, an investment grade sovereign, decided to sell a £500 million ($901 million), 20-year fixed rate bond in January, the largest and longest-dated sterling issue ever by an emerging market issuer, says Carlos Mauleón, head of Latin American debt capital markets at Barclays Capital, the joint bookrunner on the deal. Issuing in sterling was an important way for Mexico to diversify its funding sources and cultivate a new set of demanding investors. British fund managers are known, feared even, for their rigorously analytical approach to investing.

Andrés Conesa, head of public credit at Mexico's...

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