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NEW YORK, Feb 19 (IFR) - Latin American credits ended Thursday's session firmer, as short covering helped lift some high-yield names that had sold off aggressively in recent weeks.
Brazilian meat producers such as Marfrig and Minerva saw their bonds jump as much as two points as buying appetite returned to a sector that had seen valuations cheapen significantly in recent weeks.
"They just got too cheap and I think there were some shorts in the street," said a high-yield corporate bond trader in New York.
Marfrig's 2020s were closing the session at a bid price of 95.5, while Minerva's 2023s were bid at 97.0, both up by around two points on the day, according to the trader.
Argentine restructured bonds rose by about a point after a US court-mediator said holdout creditors recently renewed their offer to negotiate with the sovereign but have received no response.
"The invitation by the (holdout) bondholders was without pre-conditions and offered the possibility to the government of Argentina of a settlement without any present payment of cash, details to be negotiated," mediator Daniel A. Pollack said in the statement.
"Argentina has neither accepted nor otherwise responded to the invitation."
The country's Discount bonds were ending the day bid at 97.25, while the Par bonds were bid at 52.75, according to a second trader in New York.
Falling oil prices in the morning pushed Venezuelan bonds lower by as much as two points, but even as oil recovered in the afternoon the sovereign's notes failed to reverse earlier losses, closing near intra-day lows.
Venezuela's 2022s, for example, were ending the day at 47.50-48.50, while PDVSA's 8.5% 2017s were spotted at 64.50-65.50, both roughly a point and a half lower.
Elsewhere in the region, Panama filed with the SEC to sell up to US$3.04bn in debt, raising expectations that the sovereign could soon come to the international bond market.
Bankers have been awaiting a mandate decision from the sovereign, which sent out request for proposals earlier this month.
Mexican media company TV Azteca is bringing to market a rare project bond related to the development of the Andean country's fiber optic network. Pricing is expected toward the end of February.
Costa Rica has chosen Deutsche Bank and HSBC as lead managers on an up to US$1bn international bond sale that could take place as early as this month. (Reporting by Davide Scigliuzzo; Editing by Paul Kilby)