Americanas Crash Halts Several Brazil Corporate Bond Sales

The turmoil in Brazil’s credit market has put several local bond sales on hold as banks and investors become more cautious with corporate borrowers in the aftermath of the sudden collapse of Americanas SA, Bloomberg News reported. Power company Coelba, a unit of Neoenergia SA, has pulled a planned debt sale after underwriters tapped the so-called “market flex” clause that allows for changes in conditions, according to people familiar with the matter. The firm had announced an issuance of 1.5 billion reais ($290 million) in local notes on Jan. 9, just days before Americanas roiled markets by unveiling a $3.9 billion accounting hole. Sporting goods retailer Grupo SBF SA and water utility Cia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo also scrapped early plans of issuing local notes, the people added, asking not to be identified because discussions aren’t public. Last month, pet shop chain Petz had already postponed a bond sale. A spokesperson for Neoenergia confirmed it postponed the issuance and said it is assessing financing alternatives. Century-old retailer Americanas shocked investors in mid-January, when it announced “inconsistencies” that artificially boosted profits and reduced reported liabilities by half. Within about a week, the firm filed for bankruptcy protection. Read more.