South America

Surging construction costs are sending delinquency rates skyrocketing among Brazilian developers, persuading a growing number of lenders to dump their loans and creating a feast for distressed-asset funds, Bloomberg News reported. “I’m dealing with explosive demand from banks trying desperately to sell loans they made to construction firms,” said Eduardo Martins, a partner at MGC Holding, one of Latin America’s biggest distressed-asset managers.
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The Peruvian economy grew 9.71% year-on-year in September, slightly above a recent central bank projection, but its slowest pace of expansion since March as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the government reported on Monday, Reuters reported. Three days earlier, the central bank estimated that the economy had grown between 8.5% and 9.5% in September. In September last year, the economy of the world's second-largest copper producer fell 6.10% year-on-year, when Peru closed large swathes of its economy due to the pandemic.
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The Southern District of New York has approved Colombian airliner Avianca's reorganization plan, Avianca said on Tuesday, which will allow the company to complete its chapter 11 bankruptcy process before the end of the year, Reuters reported. Avianca, along with rival Chile's LATAM Airlines, were the two largest carriers in the region before the coronavirus pandemic, but both were sent into bankruptcy restructuring when the virus upended air travel, amid especially strict restrictions in Latin America.

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Azul’s chief executive doubled down on comments he made last week about a potential acquisition of LATAM Airlines Group, pending the outcome of the Chilean airline’s bankruptcy protection process, Flight Global reported. “The macroeconomic situation promotes consolidation in this space,” Azul’s John Rodgerson said during the Sao Paulo-based company’s third-quarter earnings call on 11 November.

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Brazil’s lower house of congress passed a controversial proposal that bends the country’s fiscal rules to finance a new social program President Jair Bolsonaro is launching ahead of his 2022 re-election campaign, Bloomberg News reported. The so-called precatorios bill was approved late on Tuesday by 323-172 votes, a wider margin of support than it had received just a week ago. It now needs the backing of three-fifths of senators, also in two rounds of voting.
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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.
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Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes reported on Tuesday a net loss of 884.6 million reais ($160.54 million) for the third quarter as traffic remained below pre-pandemic levels, Reuters reported. That compared with a loss of 872 million reais a year earlier and the company said that while demand for air travel continued to pick up in Brazil, it has still only reached 53% of pre-pandemic levels.
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Airline Avianca Holdings will move its domicile to the United Kingdom and its stock will no longer be traded on the Colombian stock exchange, the company said on Wednesday, a day after a U.S. court's approval of the company's restructuring plan, Reuters reported. Colombia's flag carrier had filed for chapter 11 protection at a U.S. court in New York in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. It now expects to exit the measure by the end 2021, after receiving around $2 billion in new financing under a debt-for-equity deal.
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Brazilian airline Azul SA is interested in buying the whole of Chile's bankrupt LATAM Airlines Group and is ready to make an offer if creditors fail to agree on a restructuring plan, Azul chief executive John Rodgerson told Chilean newspaper Diario Financiero on Monday, Reuters reported. "We know exactly what we will offer," Rodgerson said in the interview, adding that Azul would likely have to wait until Nov. 23 when a statutory limit on reaching a restructuring plan runs out. "We would buy the whole asset.

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Argentina, one of the world’s most prominent defaulters, is pushing for a new way to service debt: Instead of paying creditors with cash that’s on short supply in Buenos Aires, it wants them to recognize the country’s efforts to tackle climate change, Bloomberg News reported. “We need more flexibility to honor that debt,” President Alberto Fernandez said, at a United Nations climate summit, of about $46 billion that Argentina owes to the International Monetary Fund.
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