COVER STORY EQUITY: Courting capital

Mar 1, 2014

Talk of an investor capitulation is intensifying as investors exit Latin American equities — although no-one, yet, has called it. For Latin companies raising equity in 2014 will be a tough game. Those that can are looking elsewhere. By Katie Llanos-Small

n hindsight, February 6 was not the most fortuitous day to list on the New York Stock Exchange. A week earlier, data showed investors had pulled $6.3 billion from emerging market equity funds — the most in two and a half years. Investors repeated the exercise in the days running up to Geopark’s IPO, as fears about an emerging market bust burnt through markets.

The Chilean oil and gas firm had targeted pricing on February 5. That day, communication to the market from lead managers BTG Pactual, Itaú BBA and JPMorgan about the listing went quiet.

"I heard that everything’s fine, and that they just need to get the paperwork ready," said an equity market specialist who had been following the deal that afternoon. "But that could just be a tactic to stop any leaking."

Geopark was planning a complex transaction. Hoping to position itself in the US...

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