South America

Distressed fertilizer-producer Monómeros Colombo-Venezolanos, the Colombian subsidiary of Venezuelan state-owned Pequiven, has filed for bankruptcy protection on the heels of a regulatory intervention, Argus Media reported. Colombian corporate regulator SuperSociedades is expected to accept the company into a reorganization process that would lead to an "expedited rescue plan." The strategic company supplies about 40pc of the Colombian market.

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Unable to sell such assets as its retail outlets and its online domain, Brazil’s Sarava Libraries suffered a new setback in its judicial recovery plan and risks declaring bankruptcy, Lodi Valley News reported. After an action by one of its creditors, technology company Infosys, which questioned the retailer’s plan filed in March, the court has now decided that Sarava will file a new proposal within 30 days, under pain of filing for bankruptcy. However, a few days before this decision the company had already made an adjustment to the plan and is contemplating the failure to sell the assets.

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The airline industry in Latin America continues to deal with vastly divergent travel rules, vaccination rates and political posturing, slowing the region’s widespread recovery from the global pandemic, FlightGlobal reported. From Mexico in the north, which never really shut down even at the height of the crisis, to Argentina in the south, which still caps passenger numbers and maintains high taxes on international travel, the region’s rebound could take much longer than the rest of the world’s. “Airlines are returning,” says Peter Cerda, IATA’s regional vice-president for Latin America.

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Argentina’s dollar bonds and U.S.-traded equities slid on Monday as President Alberto Fernandez swore in new cabinet ministers and moves past a week-long political crisis, Bloomberg News reported. The nation’s $10.5 billion in bonds due 2041 slipped as much as 1.4 cents to 36.8 cents on the dollar, while the unofficial peso exchange rate, known as the blue-chip swap, weakened 1.5% to 184 pesos per dollar. U.S.-traded shares also fell as much as 13%, with the local benchmark index posting the worst returns among indexes in the Americas amid a global selloff.

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Argentina’s monthly inflation eased more than expected in August to a 13-month low as food and living cost increases lost some momentum, Bloomberg News reported. Consumer prices rose 2.5% in August from a month earlier, the lowest level since July 2020 and less than economists’ median estimate for a 2.9% increase. From a year ago, inflation reached 51.4%, one of the highest levels since President Alberto Fernandez took office in December 2019.
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Avianca Holdings SA won court approval to send its reorganization plan to creditors for a vote, bringing the Colombian air carrier one step closer to exiting bankruptcy under new ownership, Bloomberg News reported. Lenders and noteholders who agreed to refinance their debt at the beginning of Avianca’s bankruptcy case last year will get 72% of the airline’s equity in exchange for canceling about $934.7 million, according to court papers. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn said he would approve a disclosure statement that will be sent to creditors in the U.S.
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The Argentine government’s election loss on Sunday weakens Economy Minister Martin Guzman’s negotiating power with the International Monetary Fund over its record $45 billion debt, according to one of the nation’s former representatives with the fund, Bloomberg News reported. President Alberto Fernandez’s coalition was defeated in primary congressional races in the majority of Argentina’s provinces, as well as in the capital, reflecting discontent over rising poverty and 50% inflation ahead of the general midterms on Nov. 14.
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LATAM Airlines said yesterday that it has received several offers to fund its exit from chapter 11 bankruptcy, each of which are worth more than $5 billion, Reuters reported. LATAM, the largest airline in Latin America, received the offers from creditors and shareholders, according to a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York City. The Santiago, Chile-based company did not reveal the number of offers received or from whom they came, but Delta Air Lines Inc is LATAM’s largest shareholder. Other shareholders include Qatar Airways, with a 10% stake.
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Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes on Friday outlined a rosier outlook for Latin America's largest economy in 2022, predicting a "robust" GDP growth and inflation meeting its target, Reuters reported. "I have a constructive and positive view that we're going to post a robust growth next year," he said. Market participants see GDP growth at mere 1.93%, according to a central bank survey released last week. In an event hosted by Credit Suisse, Guedes said inflation is likely to be at 5% next year, the upper part of a range.
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Colombia’s rapid recovery and growing inflationary pressure mean the central bank will need to pare back the amount of stimulus it’s providing the economy, bank Governor Leonardo Villar said, Bloomberg News reported. “We saw the need to begin reducing the magnitude of stimulus,” Villar said in a presentation Thursday, referring to the central bank board’s discussion in its last policy meeting in July. “That doesn’t mean eliminating stimulus altogether.” The bank will begin to lift interest rates “gradually”, he said, without specifying when it will start.
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