It’s been a long time coming, but Argentina is finally back. In mid-April, after being frozen out of global capital markets for 15 years, the country sold $16.5 billion of debt in an offering that was more than four times oversubscribed—the biggest bond ever sold in an emerging market.
While Latin American economies are expected to shrink by roughly 1% this year, Mexico is slated to grow 2.2%.
Milestones | Brazil
In this time of recession, Brazil’s economy is becoming more agribusiness-oriented. The sector generated 23% of Brazilian GDP last year, after 21.4% in 2014, and accounted for 46.3% of total exports.
Milestones | Argentina
As Argentina prepares to launch a new bond issue in April, marking its return to international capital markets, investors are once again turning their attention to Buenos Aires, which has known 15 years of isolation.
Cuba: News that Anglo-Dutch consumer products company Unilever will return to Cuba to build a $35 million plant in the special development zone at the port of Mariel, about 40 kilometers west of Havana, is one of the clearest signs yet that the communist nation is taking a more pragmatic approach to foreign direct investment.
The republic of Trinidad and Tobago girds for austerity as oil brings in less foreign exchange.
Trends | Peace Deals
Low oil prices are widening Colombia’s current-account deficit, dampening the confidence of foreign investors and dragging down the economy.
Brazil: The Banco Central do Brasil gave new Finance minister Nelson Barbosa a bit of help on January 20, when it decided to hold the short-term interest rate, the Selic, to 14.25%.
The axe fell on Brazil heading into 2016 as it suffered a downgrade to junk status by Fitch Ratings, heightening the air of crisis as the beleaguered nation grapples with political turmoil and recession.
Corporate Governance | Management
Selling the assets could improve BTG’s net worth by 20 billion reais ($5 billion).
The opposition party in Venezuela won the majority of seats in the National Assembly (Venezuela’s parliament) in national elections early in December.
The appointment of Alfonso Prat-Gay as Argentina’s new Finance minister was a clear sign to international investors that president Mauricio Macri, sworn in December 10, was serious about unraveling the populist policies of the previous government.
Hit by a sharp decline in the price of copper, Chile is putting the brakes on public spending with a 2016 budget that aims at keeping costs under control.
He has become the face of Puerto Rico’s woes, warning in media interview after interview of its inability to pay its bills and serving as the island’s bearer of bad financial news.
Grassroots anti-corruption movement promises new era of transparency.
José Antonio Ocampo Gaviria, professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, says the slowing of international trade since the financial crisis is a major threat to the world economy.
Trends | Taxation
Brazil is well known in the global business sector for its tax complexity, heavy tax burden (around 35% of GDP) and high use of technology for tax collection. Not for nothing do Brazilians call their tax authority—Receita Federal do Brasil—“the Lion.”
Global Finance interviews senior executives from some of the banks featured in this year’s World’s Safest Banks rankings.