In Sickness and In Wealth

Oct 1, 2001

As Latin America and the world head toward economic recession, investment bankers gear up for new kinds of offerings. Local mergers, tailor-made products and increased advisory work will shore up bankers' bottom lines.

As a global recession inches ever closer, Latin American companies and their investment bankers are bracing for tough times ahead. The bankers have already endured years of fierce competition for dwindling deals and low fees and are readying to do battle for even fewer mandates.

With high-profile privatizations and international bond placements fading further into the past, advisory work in the region will shift hard toward the domestic markets. And as international capital markets shun emerging market risk, global debt and equity markets will be closed to all but the most credit-worthy institutions in the region.

Still, billions of dollars in debt issued by Latin American corporations, governments and banks are coming due early next year. Some bankers suggest that the recession could help them cement relationships with clients and bring in new advisory work that has been scarce in recent years. "Ultimately, the activity is going to have...

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