Costa Rica | Capital markets: Blue sky thinking

Mar 1, 2013

Heavy government debt issuance locally has put a damper on Costa Rica’s fledgling capital markets. Yet dynamism is coming from specialized areas

In November, Costa Rica broke a drought. It sold its first Eurobond since 2004. The $1 billion 10-year deal was the country’s biggest ever issue and was five times oversubscribed.

International investors snapped up the paper yielding 4.25% – US accounts took over half the issue. They were eager to diversify beyond the only other recently sold Costa Rican dollar benchmark, a $500 million issue from state-owned electricity company ICE.

"It was important to return to the international markets as a method of financing, and give investors Costa Rican paper in their portfolios," Luis Liberman, Costa Rica’s vice president, told LatinFinance at the time.

The deal has opened the door to other institutions to follow suit. Banco de Costa Rica, the country’s second largest bank, has said it is targeting the third quarter of 2013 for a $500 million international bond debut. And the sovereign itself is planning...

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