New Latin American corporate bond issues totaled $7.1bn in Q1 this year, up from $1bn in Q1 2016, Moody’s said in a report.
High yield bond sales will proceed at a “moderate, selective pace” this year, as commodity prices stabilize and political uncertainties subside for the time being, the rating agency said. Corporate issuers will be able to capitalize on favorable market conditions and tap into yield-hungry investors, although economic growth in the region will remain “tepid for a prolonged period,” Moody’s said.
Large issues from a few companies propped up new bond sales in Q1. Brazil’s state-owned energy company Petrobras, for example, printed $4bn in January, or 56% of the total in Q1.
The weighted-average coupons of new corporate issues from Latin America decreased to 6.5% in Q1 this year, compared to 7.8% in Q1 2016, due to the higher credit quality of companies printing new bonds, Moody’s said. The better credit quality also helped extend the weighted-average tenor of new issues to 8.1 years from 6.3 years in 2016.