Chile Makes a Statement

Nov 1, 2001

With its $650 million bond issue in October, the Chilean government sought to differentiate itself from other emerging market borrowers. In doing so, it became somewhat of an exception in the region.

The Republic of Chile made its first foray into the international capital markets in over two years with a $650 million 10-year Yankee bond in October. It did not need the financing, but wanted to make a statement. "It was important for us to have some presence in the market and differentiate Chile from the rest of the emerging market asset class," says Heinz Rudolph, director of international finance and capital markets at the Chilean Ministry of Finance. "It is a defensive move to make sure Chile is very well-positioned to weather any storm ahead," says Chris Gilfond, managing director and co-head of Latin American debt capital markets at Salomon Smith Barney, which was joint bookrunner with JP Morgan on the deal. Dedicated emerging market investors are cutting their exposure to Latin America and US high-grade investors are staying on the sidelines until the outlook for the US economy...

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