Raising money for Latin American banks in 2002 required a good dose of skill and imagination. International banks, stuck with heavy losses in Argentina and fearful of more trouble in Brazil, spent most of the year selling down assets in the region and retreating to safer shores. Local banks had to find new ways to fund themselves.
Last April, Banco Bradesco, Brazil's largest private-sector bank, placed ¥17.5 billion ($145 million) in 10-year subordinated debt backed by a political risk insurance policy in a deal arranged by Merrill Lynch with one investor. LatinFinance chose this transaction as insured bond of the year for achieving the most cost-efficient issuance of subordinated debt and longest-dated issuance in yen for a Latin American bank in 2002.
Merrill Lynch Reinsurance Ltd. wrote the political risk insurance policy covering 24 months of interest payments in the event that Bradesco cannot...
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