So Long to Latin American Samurais

Oct 1, 2002

After providing a solid supply of money for Latin American bond issuers, the yen market snapped shut last August. Only the Mexican state electricity company has been able to break in.

A few years ago during the global bull market when capital flowed like water, almost anybody in Latin America could raise money. Nowadays, sovereigns and even big companies and banks are lucky to raise any money at all. The Samurai market grew up as a complement to the US and European markets, and issuers such as Brazil worked hard to build their credibility in the Japanese market. Brazil's solid payment track record during the 1980's debt crisis helped its image in Japan. It also has strong ethnic and cultural links. Brazil has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. Unfortunately, Japan was also the first bond market to slam shut for Latin American issuers last year. Between August 2001 and September 2002, not a single...

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