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Capital flows to Latin America: 2004 highlights

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Corporate author:
  • NU. CEPAL. Oficina de Washington
UN symbol.: LC/WAS/L.74 5 p. Editorial: ECLAC December 2004

Description

Investors expect a strong finish for emerging markets this year, as market environment remains supportive of credit products, especially those with strong fundamentals and interesting yields, which is the case for emerging markets. Since the start of the year there were two sets of forces driving emerging markets debt: global liquidity and fundamental credit improvements. To a large degree, improving credit quality has itself been the result of ample global liquidity and the low interest-rate environment. Against this backdrop, spreads reached record low levels and issuance was boosted. The weakening dollar also stimulated issuance in local Latin American currencies for the first time as well as in euros. Low spreads and the impulse to issuance in currencies other than the dollar were two important themes in 2004. Two other important topics were Argentina's debt restructuring process and the oil windfall and its repercussion in Latin American countries. Argentina's debt exchange offer should be formally launched in the beginning of 2005. If successful, the offering will end a difficult period in Argentina's history and will positively affect the whole region. With respect to oil, in 2004 the impact of higher prices on oil exporter countries was a net positive, but given the weight of oil exports in countries such as Venezuela and Ecuador, a decline in prices may bring trouble.

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