Brazil

Even in an industry devastated by the coronavirus crisis, Latin American airlines stand out. Five of the biggest carriers in the region -- Latam Airlines Group SA, Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, Azul SA, Avianca and Volaris -- have seen about $12 billion in their market value wiped out since the end of January through Wednesday’s close, Bloomberg News reported. On average, their stock tumbled 78% in local currency terms, more than all 23 members in the Bloomberg World Airlines Index. The global gauge is down 46% in the period.

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Telefonica SA and Telecom Italia SpA’s Brazilian units are working together to buy the mobile operations of Oi SA and end years of failed attempts to consolidate the country’s wireless industry, Bloomberg News reported. Telefonica Brasil SA and Tim Participacoes SA said they’ll will hold discussions on a potential joint acquisition of all or part of Oi’s mobile assets, which Bradesco BBI estimates may be worth at least 12 billion reais ($2.6 billion).

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Brazil construction company Odebrecht SA has taken Peru to arbitration over a failed $2 billion investment in a gas pipeline, arguing it needs to recoup the money to pay debtors in order to navigate its own bankruptcy restructuring, Reuters reported. Odebrecht, which announced the move on Wednesday, is in a precarious financial situation due to the revelation of its participation in a complex scheme to exchange bribes for public work contracts throughout Latin America. Peru’s prosecutorial agency did not return a request for comment on Wednesday.

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Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht SA has agreed to extend the monitorship and other terms of its plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department for almost nine months, according to court filings, The Wall Street Journal reported. Odebrecht pleaded guilty in 2016 to a criminal charge of allegedly conspiring to violate U.S. foreign bribery laws and entered into a plea agreement with the DOJ.

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Creditors of corruption-ensnared conglomerate Odebrecht SA have delayed discussion of the restructuring of 51 billion reais ($12.2 billion) in debt to March 18, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter, Reuters reported. A vote on the plan had been expected for Wednesday, but creditors agreed to delay discussions following a decision by creditors of one of Odebrecht’s units, Atvos, to postpone their vote to March 27.

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Samarco Mineracao SA has rejected creditors’ formal request to resume talks to restructure its defaulted debt, signaling heightened risks for bond holders, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation, Bloomberg News reported. The Brazilian iron ore venture between BHP Group and Vale SA said it has yet to firm up its business plan. And without that, the company argues that it will be at a disadvantage if it were to resume talks that have been put on hold for almost a year on its $2.9 billion in defaulted debt, the people said.

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Brazilian telecoms company Oi SA said on Monday its mobile unit has signed an agreement to issue up to 2.5 billion reais ($609.40 million) in debenture bonds with a 24-month term to meet its cash needs, Reuters reported. The move comes as Brazil’s largest fixed-line carrier struggles to turn around its business since filing for bankruptcy protection in June 2016 and to restructure approximately 65 billion reais ($15.7 billion) of debt.

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Brazilian construction and engineering group Odebrecht is changing its leadership amid ongoing debt restructuring and difficulties to obtain new contracts, BNamericas reported. Chairman and ally of founder Emilio Odebrecht, Ruy Sampaio, will replace current CEO Luciano Nitrini Guidolin as the expected conclusion of the conglomerates' debt restructuring will also end a cycle in the company, an Odebrecht spokesperson told BNamericas.

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Foreigners have withdrawn from Brazilian equities at a record pace this year, amid persistent scepticism from global investors about the country’s economic recovery, the Financial Times reported. In total, foreign investors have pulled a net R$15.2bn (US$3.7bn) out of the country’s stock markets this year, data from the São Paulo stock exchange show. The São Paulo stock exchange has surged higher, with the benchmark Bovespa up more than 25 per cent this year. But the persistent withdrawals from foreign accounts show how heavily this rally depends on local investors.

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Brazil’s Odebrecht creditors have delayed the vote on the conglomerate’s new bankruptcy plan to Dec. 19, according to representatives for the conglomerate, Reuters reported. The company said in a statement that 20 of the 21 subsidiaries have agreed to delay the vote on the restructuring to Dec. 19. Creditors of one last subsidiary, Atvos Investments, are still discussing the delay. Odebrecht presented the new restructuring plan to creditors yesterday.
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