Latin America's best bank for financing 2020: Goldman Sachs

Awards for Excellence 2020

The best bank for financing in the region is Goldman Sachs.

Casual observers of the investment banking industry would be forgiven for not associating Goldman with outstanding performance in debt capital markets in the emerging markets in general, let alone in Latin America. But the bank is on a tear in the region and is clearly reaping the benefits from the focus that Carlos Mendoza, head of Latin America DCM, and Cristina Estrada, head of Latin America derivatives, have placed on this area.

Momentum is clearly on its side: the bank was the closest competitor to JPMorgan for the investment banking award. In the last few years Goldman has transformed its DCM franchise, moving from the bottom quartile to fourth in deal volumes in 2019, and so far this year it is ranked second to JPMorgan.

That’s quite a leap and it hasn’t been achieved by just winning a rash of joint bookrunner mandates. Instead the bank has elbowed its way into Latin American DCM with a series of innovative and headline deals.


Cristina Estrada

The bank was sole bookrunner on Ecuador’s $400 million social housing bond (which repacked an Inter-American Development Bank guarantee to lower funding costs below the sovereign’s level).

It provided principal funding for Rutas 2 y 7, GICSA and AES Cochrane; brought Cable Onda to the international markets for the first time as part of its acquisition finance of Telefonica’s Panamanian assets; created bespoke derivatives solutions for issuers including Embotelladora Andina and Alpha Credit; and was dealer manager in Avianca’s $550 million exchange offer.

Goldman also demonstrated penetration across sovereigns, quasi-sovereigns and across industry types throughout the region, booking mandates from Telecom Argentina to Pemex.

The bank has also developed an interesting leadership in financing for the growing fintech industry in the region, acting as sole structuring agent and lender on warehouse facilities for, among others, Mercado Libre, Konfio, Credijusto and Fit. This niche complements its unrivalled presence on equity transactions for the leading technology listings during the year.

Facundo Vazquez, head of Latin America ECM, has successfully built the bank’s equities business in the region. Goldman was lead left on the XP Inc and Linx IPOs (the latter was the first Brazilian company to list simultaneously on the B3 and through ADRs), as well as on the follow-ons for Stone, PagSeguro, Arco and Establishment Labs.

The bank participated in all of the high-growth US direct listings by Latin American companies and was lead left in 75%.

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