Bolsonaro Bill Sends Prices Tumbling for Brazil Legal Claims

Secondary-market prices for legal claims against Brazil’s government tumbled to less than two-thirds their face value on President Jair Bolsonaro’s proposal to delay court-ordered payments on the debt, Bloomberg News reported. The securities had been trading at about 90% of face value as recently as the first half of this year, and are now closer to 60%, according to executives at banks and asset-management firms who trade the debt. The market for legal claims has been attracting investors seeking higher returns after the nation’s benchmark interest rate fell to as low as 2% last year. The government has made court-ordered payments on time since 2010, enticing newcomers to the market including hedge funds, rich individuals and midsize banks and driving prices to record highs. Global investors have also been buying the assets with help from firms including Bank of America Corp., which has been trading legal claims bigger than 50 million reais ($8.9 million) since 2008 and is one of the most active players. Read more.