April 1, 2001
It's no secret that US and European investment funds dedicated to Latin America are increasingly scarce. Their disappearance means Wall Street banks that manage money in Latin America are eyeing a potentially larger, and steadier source of business for their brokerages: the local investor.
Institutional investors from Chile to Argentina to Brazil, particularly the privatized pension funds, are growing fast. In 1994, professionally managed pension funds in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico totaled $59 billion, according to J.P. Morgan. They now exceed $100 billion and are expected to grow to $140 billion by 2003.
The temptingly large monthly inflows of pension funds must be invested
Latin America's growing pension funds are the biggest players in their local markets. But the big US houses are having trouble seeing how they can make any money by establishing brokerage operations there.