NEW YORK, March 30 (IFR) - More speculation about the timing of the release of audited results by Brazil's Petrobras and prospects of monetary easing in China were supporting Latin America's credit markets on Monday despite another a dip in crude prices.
Bonds issued by the Brazilian oil firm were starting the day largely unchanged on news the company could release audited results as soon as mid April after it agreed with regulators about the methodology for calculating corruption losses.
The 2024s and 2044s were starting the day respectively offered at around 530bp and 535bp, or a few basis points wider.
Petrobras bonds are now expected to rally on the back of any release of financials and perhaps open the way for a possible financing foray.
"I believe they would be able to come (with a bond sale) because the market is hungry for new issues," said Klaus Spielkamp, head of fixed-income sales at Bulltick in Miami. "Ecuador proved that when it issued (earlier this year.)"
On the downside, a further drop in oil prices may upset price action in the region's credit markets should Iran start selling oil on the back of any nuclear deal with Western powers.
Crude has already been trading heavily on such a prospect. Today Brent had inched down about 5 cents to US$56.36 and US crude another 10 cents to US$48.77, according to Reuters.
"There is more of a chance that Iran gets a deal in regard to its nuclear program and this will allow them (to sell oil). "They have been building inventories for the past two years," said Spielkamp. "But this shouldn't take place before June."
On the sovereign side, investors will be keeping a careful eye on the payment process for coupons from Argentine law Pars due tomorrow. This comes after a US court last week agreed to let Citibank make payments on local law paper, but effectively stopped other intermediaries from doing so.
Bankers are anticipating a relatively slow week in the primary market ahead of Easter holidays in Latin America. They are however not discounting any possible announcements given the relatively positive backdrop and low rates.
"If someone wanted to come today, tomorrow or Wednesday, it would be a go," said a syndicate official.
Recently minted bonds continued to hold up well, with Colombia's 2045s trading at around 102.15-102.65 this morning after being tapped last week at 99.366.
Colombian telco ColTel's new non-call five perp hybrid was also off recent lows and was hovering around par, which is where it priced last week.
Mexican media company TV Azteca is looking to pull the trigger on a rare project bond related to the development of Peru's fiber optic network as soon as Tuesday.
The senior secured notes will be backed by project cash flows and will be issued by special purpose vehicle Red Dorsal Finance Limited.
Final maturity will now fall in 2031, as opposed to the 2032 originally stated in the preliminary prospectus, while average life will be around 9.5 years. BESI - Grupo Novo Banco and Credit Suisse are the bookrunners on the deal. (Reporting By Paul Kilby)