Mexico makes bond market return

Mexico makes bond market return

Bonds Corporate & Sovereign Strategy Capital Markets Debt Fixed Income Economy & Policy Mexico

Mexico has sold $2bn in cross-border bonds, marking its first international debt sale since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office in December.

The bookrunners Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Morgan Stanley priced the 10-year bonds with a 4.5% coupon to yield 4.577% after orders reached roughly $8bn. More than 320 institutional investors from the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East bought the new notes, the finance ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also said it will return to the international bond markets "only when they offer favorable financing opportunities."

The government's fundraising needs for 2019 equal 7.2% of GDP, including 1.9% for the federal deficit, 4.9% to make local debt payments and 0.4% to make external debt payments, the finance ministry said earlier this week.

Officials from Hacienda and the state-owned oil company Pemex went on a round of meetings in New York last week, but left their plans to issue new benchmark bonds in doubt after investors were underwhelmed by the presentations.

Mexico took the plunge after Uruguay priced $850m in 12-year notes at 175bp over US Treasury notes on January 15. Mexico's new notes, in comparison, carried a spread of 185bp, down from initial price talk of 210bp, LatinFinance has heard.

AMLO, as the president is known, spooked the market when he cancelled the construction of a new airport in Mexico City, but he has since encouraged investors by reaching a deal with the airport bondholders, presenting a prudent budget and proposing to cut taxes on IPOs.

Mexico paid 135bp over US Treasury bills when it sold $2bn in 10-year bonds in January last year. Pemex came to the market a few weeks later with $2.5bn in 10-year notes at 5.35% and $1.5bn in 30-year notes at 6.35%.

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