KOREA/LATAM: Ties that bind

Nov 1, 2013

Korean investment in Latin America is growing as banks, manufacturers and engineers invest more and trade links deepen. By Ben Miller

History may not remember a $176 million loan for Recaudo Bogotá as being the head-turning deal of 2013 in Latin America. But the funding, to develop and operate a fare collection system for the Colombian capital’s public transport system, is notable for one particular aspect: the participation of lenders Shinhan Investment Corporation and Woori Investment & Securities as mandated lead arrangers.

The deal is the most recent of a handful of transactions for Latin American borrowers that involve private sector Korean lenders — as opposed to the government banks that have become well-known supporters of many projects in the region. In mid-October, for example,

Mexico’s Pemex signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Eximbank (Kexim) that should set up a $2 billion credit line.

Korean lenders — both government banks and private sector ones — signed four loans with Latin American borrowers this year, including the...

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