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LatAm Media Navel Gaze: January 5, 2018

  • On Thursday, the Argentine Government made a bond placement for U.S. $9 billion in the international market. The Ministry of Finance noted that the rates at which the bonds were issued are the lowest in the history of Argentina. There were three bonds issued including: a 5 year $1.75 billion dollar bond with a yield of 4,625% (coupon 4,625%), a 10 year $4.25 billion dollar bond with a yield of 6% (5.875% coupon), and a 30 year $3 billion dollar bond with a yield of 6.95% (coupon 6.875%). The rates represent a drop of 100 basis points in relation to the rates paid in the issuance of similar bonds of January 2017.
  • Brazilian oil company, Petrobras, reached a $2.95bn settlement for a US class action claiming securities fraud. The deal removes uncertainties from the state-owned company's horizon but also lowers likelihood of resuming dividend payments in the near future.
  • In just two weeks, the Chinese made three operations in Chile, including an alliance between Sigdo Koppers and China Railways Group Limited to raise a train linking Santiago and Valparaíso, (investment of US $ 1.6 billion); the day before, Phosphorus sold its 12.5% share ​​in San Pedro Tarapacá to the giant Yanghe, a subsidiary of the Jiangsu Yanghe Destillery Co Group, for US $65 million; and on December 26, Brookfield in ETC Transmission Holdings, parent company of Transelec, transferred 27.8% of its holdings to Southern Power Grid, for US $ 1.3 billion.
  • On Thursday, Federica Mogherini, head of European diplomacy, met with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez in Havana, to promote new business opportunities and expand their economic ties. The countries that make up the EU bloc are the most important investors in Cuba, led by Spain, France and Italy. Europe accounts for 30 percent of tourists who travel to the Caribbean island.
  • According to the Bank of Mexico and the International Monetary Fund, Mexico’s financial shield amounted to $262 billion. Part of these resources could be used in 2018, if necessary, to face possible upward pressures in the exchange rate along with the issues that may arise with NAFTA negotiations.
  • This week, Peru’s Head of Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), Claudia Cooper, warned that the political crisis that shook the country in December has not ended but should not impact largely the country’s activity, if the political differences are resolved "in a civilized way". The official maintained her economic forecasts for this year and said that while public investments were halted for two weeks when Congress tried to remove President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski from office, they have since been reactivated.
  • According to Peru’s President of Judicial Power (PJ), Duberlí Rodríguez, Peru loses around US $3.7 billion annually due to corruption. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office of Peru, noted that during 2017, the judicial authorities condemned about 1,000 officials of all levels for acts of corruption committed in various instances of power. 

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