Eastern Restraint, Latin Assets
Unlike their European and American counterparts, Asian
investors entered Latin America slowly and carefully, a strategy that is giving them staying power in these tough
If the Samurai market were an indication of Asian sentiment
towards Latin America you would think the Asians were
abandoning Latin America in droves. Until September; Issuance
of yen-denominated bonds by Latin American companies and
countries had dropped to zero this year from $3.83 billion in
2001 (see story So Long to Latin American Samurais). But while
portfolio investors in Asia have indeed cooled on Latin bonds,
Asian companies that put money directly into Latin America are
sticking it out and see even more opportunities there,
particularly in Mexico and Brazil.
Asian investors that came to Mexico to cash in on the North
American Free Trade Agreement, for example, are still there,
convinced that North America is going to converge into one
gigantic economic zone. Although there are some casualties as
manufacturing companies shift production capacity to lower cost
countries in Asia, free trade agreements between Japan
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