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Brazil May Sell Dim Sum Bonds to Establish Benchmark, Valle Says

Brazil may sell yuan-denominated bonds for the first time to establish a benchmark that would help companies issue debt in the Chinese market, Deputy Treasury Secretary Paulo Valle said.

“Just to raise money is not our proposal,” Valle said in an interview in Hong Kong yesterday. “But if it will help to open the market for the corporate bonds, maybe we can.”

Sales of yuan-denominated debt in Hong Kong, or so-called Dim Sum bonds, have jumped to 148 billion yuan ($23.2 billion) this year from 35.7 billion yuan last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

America Movil SAB, the wireless carrier controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, is looking to become the first Latin American company to sell Dim Sum bonds after meeting investors in Singapore and Hong Kong last week. The company will wait until next year to sell the bonds, a person familiar with the matter said.

Valle said the government will extend its push to cut floating-rate debt in the local market next year. Brazil will reduce the floating-rate bonds to less than 30 percent of its total domestic debt in 2012 from a “little bit above” 30 percent this year, Valle said.

“We expect our strategy for next year is to continue replacing floating-rate debt with fixed-rate bonds or inflation-linked bonds,” said Valle, who joined Aldo Mendes, the central bank’s monetary policy director, in a delegation to promote investment opportunities in the Latin American nation.

Treasury Secretary Arno Augustin said Dec. 7 that Brazil hasn’t ruled out selling bonds overseas this year. The currency of any such sale hasn’t been determined and the timing will depend on market conditions, Augustin said.

Brazil’s benchmark dollar bonds due in 2019 yield 2.97 percent, down from 3.07 percent a year ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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