Arnold & Porter LLP's sovereign finance team began 2004 with six transactions aggregating US$5 billion on behalf of five sovereign clients from around the world, including South America, the Middle East, and Asia. "The first six weeks of 2004 have witnessed an extraordinary level of activity for emerging market issuers," commented partner Whitney Debevoise.
The surge of issues began with the Republic of Turkey's US$1,500,000,000 8.0% Global Bonds due 2034 and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela's US$1,000,000,000 9.375% Global Bonds due 2034, both issued on January 14, 2004. The Federative Republic of Brazil followed on January 20, 2004, with its own US$1,500,000,000 thirty year issue of 8.25% Global Bonds due 2004.
Next to issue was the Republic of Panama, which simultaneously priced a US$250,000,000 issue of its 8.125% Global Bonds due 2034, and launched a fixed price cash tender for its outstanding Brady Bonds. This tender retired approximately US$406,000,000, or more than half of the stock of Panama's Brady Bonds, on February 3, 2004, and was funded by a US$326,000,000 reopening of Panama's 9.375% Global Bonds due 2023, which closed the same day.
The string of transactions continued with Pakistan's first foray into the markets since a bond exchange undertaken in December 1999, on which Arnold & Porter also advised. On February 19, 2004, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan issued its US$500,000,000 6.75%. Notes due 2009.
Arnold & Porter's sovereign finance team practices out of the firm's Washington, DC, New York, and London offices. Those participating in the early 2004 activity include partners Whitney Debevoise, Mark Stumpf, Vijay Tata, Neil Goodman, Michael Oshima, Robert Conway, and Jeremy Willcocks and associates Arturo Caraballo, Barbara Yuen, Carlos Portugal, John Gatmaitan, Aaron Kaalberg, Karuna Jain, Jane Edwards, Joel Lander, Bradley Theobald, Karen O'Brien, Carl Hurwitz, Augusto Rodrigues, and Jose Urrutia.