So Long to Latin American Samurais
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
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