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Latin Americans are clutching to the prospect of a better outlook as we move towards the second half of 2016, from Argentina, where Mauricio Macri has been quick to implement much-anticipated reforms, to Mexico, where eyes are trained north of the border in disbelief at the confounding US presidential race. Talk of backtracking on free trade and erecting walls is no confidence builder for nations contending with sluggish growth, at best.
In Brazil, another political soap opera, also with real consequences for consumer confidence and growth, begs for a swift and judicious conclusion; surely not the turn of events Brazilians had hoped for ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics. With the "operation car wash" investigation showing no sign of burning out as it extends into year three and the loss of confidence in the country's leadership resulting in widespread protests and courtroom showdowns, it's hard to imagine how things could get much worse in Latin America's largest economy.
The slump in oil prices has been a curse for oil exporters across the region, especially Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela, but a blessing for those dependent on imported fuel and now enjoying reduced energy bills and windfall foreign exchange reserves.
A slowdown in Asia has weighed on mineral prices, but agricultural exports from Latin America remain relatively buoyant.
Transactional activity across the region fell 15% by volume and 26% by aggregate value in 1Q16 over 1Q15. Given the overwhelming contribution made by Brazil to overall M&A in the region and the country's bumpy road to recovery, the general slump relative to 2015 is likely to persist well into 2H16.
- Latin America Overview
- Private Equity Insights
- TTR Intel Volume
- Brazil & The Southern Cone
- Mexico & The Pacific Alliance
- Central America & The Caribbean