The USD 30 million issuance closed on Thursday. Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay acted as paying agent, registry agent and representative of bondholders.

The issuance was structured to give priority to small investors. During the first two days of subscriptions, investors could only buy bonds up to a value of US$20,000, after which buyers could spend up to US$100,000 on bonds for the next two days. On the final day the remainder of the issuance was open to all investors in the market without any restrictions. Additionally, retail investors were offered a competitive interest rate of 4.23 per cent, which was higher than the rate available for institutional investors.

FERRERE partner Diego Rodríguez notes that UTE opted to give priority to retail investors because, as a state-owned company, it sought to attract its customers. “The amount was not relevant to UTE this time, what matters was the targeted investors, its clients,” he says.

A total of US$22 million worth of bonds were purchased by individual investors, with the remaining US$8 million snapped up by institutional buyers.

UTE retained FERRERE last December for the biggest ever issuance on the local market, raising US$100 million. The deals form part of a drive from Uruguay’s government to boost energy independence and avoid costly gas and electricity imports from Argentina and Brazil.

Article published in Latin Lawyer on Monday, 5 August 2013.