Latin America’s capital markets users have much to be proud of in the past year. Companies and sovereign financing officials piled into bond markets while conditions were ripe, driving their total funding costs lower through new issues and exchange offers. Numerous first-time issuers raised money in the debt markets, as did junk-rated borrowers that would have been put off by high borrowing costs under other circumstances. In a year with such momentum in capital markets, records were knocked down at an alarming pace. Over the coming pages, we set out the deals and institutions that stood out amid an already impressive market backdrop. The winners were selected by LatinFinance’s editorial team following an extensive process that included detailed discussions with market participants and a close review of data. The deals represent the most impressive transactions executed by companies and government borrowers in Latin America and the Caribbean between October 1, 2012, and September 30, 2013. The selection process took into account the market significance or strategic importance of deals, as well as how they were structured and executed. Banks’ and law firms’ roles in these winning deals — as well as the volume and diversity of trades they worked on and their execution role on particularly sophisticated, successful transactions — went toward determining the winning institutions. 2014 begins with a markedly different environment to a year ago. As the global economic and monetary cycle tips, Latin American companies and countries are set to see a cooler market reception to their deals. The year ahead may not be as full of superlatives as the one just gone. But it does open the door to ever-greater sophistication: this year, finding the right timing and the best structure will be critical. 2013 Deals of the Year Winners:
SOVEREIGN LIABILITY MANAGEMENT Mexico €1.6bn new issue and tender Mexico’s foresight, nimbleness and use of innovative structures marks it out as Latin America’s most sophisticated sovereign borrower
LOCAL CURRENCY DEAL FINANCING INNOVATION América Móvil MXN15bn global peso bond Pioneering a new type of local currency instrument and swaggering into European hybrid debt has set América Móvil apart as Latin America’s most sophisticated borrower
Chile impressed with the lowest coupon and yield ever achieved by a Latin American issuer for the 10 and 30-year tranches
Timing, size and execution were all remarkable in this attention-grabbing bond sale
A record-low yield from a new issuer highlighted the strength of demand for emerging market paper
The Brazilian energy and infrastructure firm reopened the global-real market, and says local currency funding is set to become even more important this year
The Brazilian corporate’s tender offer and dual-currency new issue was well timed and executed
Banco do Brasil showed how a big IPO can get done at a high price amid a volatile market backdrop, opening a new sector for Brazilian equity investors in the process
The Chilean power company overcame disagreement with pension funds and a skeptical market to raise funds for expansion and streamline a complicated group structure
Brazilian telecom Oi freed capital and cut debt by selling a submarine cable system, but still kept access to the network
The largest international acquisition by a Chilean company came with a smooth financing package
Banorte leapt into the top position in a growing pension sector, taking advantage of BBVA’s exit
Project bonds and local currency debt have each drawn growing appetite from investors. But to combine the two deal types was unprecedented in Mexico
Itaú BBA opened the way for other Latin American banks to tap international lenders for funding the largest loan transaction ever made to a LatAm institution
The Central American sovereign’s path out of default showed how borrowers and creditors can reach an amicable agreement
Securing term financing can be tough for Argentine companies. Agricultural exporter Vicentin worked out a solution
The US bank again stands out for its work across the major product areas in LatAm, both by volume and pressive deals
Choppy markets for bond issuers in 2013 demanded creative solutions to get deals done. That’s unlikely to change in the year ahead
Amid a quieter environment for syndicated lending, one institution stood out for maintaining a consistent presence
With an increasingly strong platform across Latin America, BTG Pactual’s participation on outstanding deals sets it ahead of the competition
The Swiss bank worked on several notable deals in an otherwise quiet year, but it expects mergers and acquisitions to increase in 2014
Brazil’s stand-out capital markets law firm is upbeat about the deal pipeline in the country this year
Energy and infrastructure deals are set to flourish as Mexico’s legal reforms come into effect
Brazil may be out of favor with a host of international investors, but it will still offer deals this year, says the 2013 winner
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Will a strong dollar deter investors from LatAm bonds?
No, the yield-hunt goes on
Yes, but only retail investors
Yes, once the Fed raises rates
There was indeed a risk of losing investment grade, but thanks to the appointment of Joaquim Levy and the new fiscal targets, that risk has declined a lot
Ilan Goldfajn, Itaú-Unibanco
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