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Capital flows to Latin America: year end 2006

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Capital flows to Latin America: year end 2006

Autor institucional: NU. CEPAL. Oficina de Washington Descripción física: 31 páginas. Editorial: ECLAC Fecha: febrero 2007 Signatura: LC/WAS/L.89


Latin American markets had another good year in 2006. The liquidity environment remained supportive, credit quality continued to improve, and concerns that the heavy electoral calendar would increase volatility did not materialize. Latin America continued to reap the benefits from the commodities boom, while rising oil prices during most of the year continued to be a net positive for oil exporting countries; together with a significant increase in remittances from Latin Americans abroad they contributed to increase the region's current account surplus. Latin American stocks surged to a fourth straight year of double-digit increases, their longest winning streak since the index started in 1988. The Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Latin American Price Index gained 39.3% in dollar terms in 2006, following a gain of 44.9% in 2005. Bond spreads continued to tighten to record low levels in 2006, as a result of the search for yield in face of ample global liquidity and improving fundamentals. According to JPMorgan, the EMBI+ Latin component tightened 97 basis points in 2006, after tightening 137 basis points in 2005. Latin American markets were also supported by active debt management, as countries took advantage of the favorable external environment to improve their debt profiles, increase issuance in local currency and develop local markets. Sovereigns in Latin America are estimated to have already met 40% of their 2007 external debt financing needs according to Credit Suisse. Pre-financing and debt management has led to improved debt structures and increased resilience to external shocks.