On April 10, the Brazilian Central Bank published Circular 3,106 that regulates a new mechanism previously approved by the National Monetary Council and allows Brazilian banks to make transactions with credit derivatives. The derivatives will work as security for a credit portfolio. A group holding a high-risk portfolio will hire the services of a bank so that the risk can be passed on to a third party.
The International Bar Association's Latin American and Caribbean Regional Conference, the year's premier event for business law in Latin America, organised in co-operation with LATIN LAWYER, opens in Cuzco, Peru on April 26th. LATIN LAWYER's editorial and publishing teams will be there to answer your questions, and registration is still open. For more information on the conference, see www.ibanet.org or click on the image at the foot of this briefing.
The Chilean highways concessionaire Sociedad Concesionaria Rutas del Pacífico SA (RDP) has completed a secured long-term bond issuance of UF11.25 million (nearly US$281 million). The RDP issue, closed on April 9, is one of the largest ever to have been registered with the national securities agency, SVS - and is more than twice the size of the issue planned by fellow Chilean concessionaire Sociedad Concesionaria Autopista del Sol SA (reported in LATIN LAWYER in March).
Uruguay has made a SEC-registered US$250-million offering of 7 7/8 per cent notes due 2009, under the country's shelf registration statement. The transaction closed on March 25 and the notes were listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange on March 28.
MetroGAS SA, the leading gas distribution company in Argentina, has retained Shearman & Sterling and Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martínez de Hoz (h) as legal advisers, and JP Morgan Securities Inc as financial adviser, for the restructuring of its US$420 million debt.
The world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer, The Home Depot, has acquired Maderería del Norte, the third largest home improvement retailer in Mexico, consisting of four stores in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The acquisition was undertaken through The Home Depot's Mexican subsidiary, Soluciones para Las Casas de México, S de R L de CV.
The Brazilian nationwide fixed telecommunication company Empresa Brasileira de Telecomunicações SA (Embratel) has secured a ¥31.8 billion financing from a syndicate of banks including JP Morgan Chase, ABN Amro, Banco BBA Creditanstalt, Banco do Brasil, Banco Itaú, BLAFCO, EDC, Société Générale, Unibanco and Votorantim. The funds from the financing were disbursed under a three-tranche term loan facility on March 26. One of the tranches was covered against political risk pursuant to a political risk insurance policy issued by EDC.
Guerrero, Olivos, Novoa y Errázuriz Abogados has created a specialised team to assist its clients in projects involving electricity, hydrocarbons, water and sanitary facilities, and mining. The team was officially set up on April 1 with the aim of co-ordinating efforts in the firm’s energy and natural resources practices, as well as taking advantage of each of the team members' broad individual expertise in the area.
The law firm Tozzini, Freire, Teixeira e Silva Advogados has revealed the winners of its first Legal Paper Award. The initiative involved students currently in their final year at law school and recent law graduates from across Brazil, and particularly the Southeast.
On April 4, the Argentine Central Bank issued Communication A 3555 giving banks and financial entities the option of returning, as of January 2003, some or all of the depositary certificates mandatorily reprogrammed by the government.