When Argentina abandoned its currency
board early in 2002 after 11 years, the peso promptly sank by
75%. The devaluation, coupled with the biggest default in
history, crushed Argentina's economy. The crisis also triggered
huge losses at Bladex, the trade finance bank. With over $1
billion in loans out to Argentine companies, it faced the
thankless task of provisioning for potentially heavy losses,
protecting its preferred creditor status and its investment
Once the worst of the crisis was over, Bladex needed to
rebuild its balance sheet. Advised by BNP Paribas and Deutsche
Bank, Bladex set its sights on raising $100 million through a
rights offering. Surprisingly, given the damage inflicted by
Argentina, Bladex was able to raise 50% more than it set out to
last June. LatinFinance has picked this as Equity Deal of the
Year for 2003. The issue both raised a substantial amount of
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