Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee fields a four-partner team capable of handling the full spread of capital markets matters, but is particularly renowned for its expertise in debt capital markets transactions, with an impressive recent track record in advising on both domestic bond issuances and cross-border Rule 144A/Regulation S offerings. In addition to advising local and regional issuers, the firm’s strong reputation in international matters makes it a preferred choice to act for foreign financial institutions. Managing partner Arturo Gerbaud, who has extensive experience advising both underwriters and issuers on complex bond offerings, leads the team. Rafael Marquínez, Patricia Cordero and Rita de la Guardia – all of whom were promoted to the partnership in 2022 – are also active members of the practice.
Capital markets in Panama
Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega‘s capital markets practice remains the first port of call to advise on international bond issuances, acting for a prestigious roster of foreign financial institutions and Panama’s largest banks. Its enviable list of recent mandates includes assisting the underwriters with multiple sovereign bond offerings by the Republic of Panama. In addition, the firm is commended for its longstanding experience in the IPOs of major Panamanian corporations, both locally and on the New York Stock Exchange. Thanks to its regulatory expertise, the team has also played an active role in the drafting of amendments to the Securities Law. The practice is led by the highly experienced duo of co-managing partner Ricardo Arango and Estif Aparicio, both of whom have strong profiles in international matters and are also admitted to practice in New York. Other names to note are up-and-coming partners Fernando Arias F and Javier Yap Endara, and international senior associates Cedric Kinschots and Donald Canavaggio.
Estif Aparicio; Ricardo Arango
Citibank/Citigroup Global Markets
Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex)
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
JP Morgan Securities
Credit Suisse Securities (USA)
- Advised Citigroup Global Markets and JP Morgan Securities and Bank of America and HSBC Securities on two separate global bond issuances (of $2.5bn and $1bn, respectively) by the Republic of Panama.
- Assisting the Panama Stock Exchange (Bolsa Latinoamericana de Valores – Latinex) on drafting a bill to amend Panama’s current securities law to allow close-out netting in derivatives and repurchase agreements (repos) transactions upon the insolvency of a local counterparty.
- Advised Banco General on a $54m bond offering issued by Productos Alimenticios Pascual, linked to an amendment to the term and conditions of another bond offering made by Pascual.
Galindo, Arias & López‘ top-flight capital markets practice acts for a diverse domestic, regional and international client base, including leading financial institutions and key players in the aviation, telecoms and real estate sectors, drawing on firm-wide expertise in these areas. The firm has a strong presence in high-value public offerings of corporate bonds, and is equally adept at handling domestic and cross-border capital markets transactions. The team is also highly active on the regulatory front, frequently assisting major financial institutions in compliance matters; Roberto De Araujo López, who has extensive in-house experience with the Superintendence of Banks of Panama and Colombia, is a standout name in this field. Cristina Lewis heads the team and is well versed in transactional and regulatory capital markets matters, with an emphasis on the aviation sector. Highly experienced associate Carla López provides key support to both partners on the issuance of securities and related due diligence.
BAC Valores Panamá
Mercantil Servicios Financieros Internacional
BAC International Bank
Corporación de Finanzas del País (Panacredit)
Los Castillos Real Estate
Mercantil Servicios de Inversión
- Advised Los Castillos Real Estate in connection with the amendment of certain terms and conditions of the public offering of corporate bonds of up to $70m and the issuance of a new public offering of corporate bonds of up to $75m.
- Advised Panacredit in connection with the public offering of corporate bonds of up to $150m.
- Advised Copa Holdings in connection with a capital markets takeout/Export-Import Bank of the United States of America-guaranteed bond offering exercised regarding the financing of three of its MAX aircraft for $137m.
Morgan & Morgan‘s capital markets practice is particularly distinguished by its expertise in the constitution of Panamanian real estate investment trusts (SIIs) and their registration with the securities regulator, and is lauded by clients as ‘the leading law firm in Panama‘ in this space. The team, which receives further praise for its ‘knowledge, experience and diligence‘, also handles a high volume of public bond offerings on the Latin American Stock Exchange (Latinex) – including transactions with an international component – as well as advising on private issuances. Francisco Arias, who is skilled in advising both issuers and underwriters on capital markets transactions and regulatory matters, leads the team alongside Ricardo Arias, a specialist in SIIs. At the partner level, Roberto Vidal and Ana Carolina Castillo (an expert in energy-related matters) also play a prominent role in the practice, while international associate Miguel Arias M is the name to note at the junior level.
Francisco Arias; Ricardo Arias
‘Morgan & Morgan advised us mainly on the subject of real estate investment trusts, and took us by the hand to help us become what we are today. The team is perhaps one of the main experts on the relevant procedures before the Superintendency of the Stock Market of Panama and the General Directorate of Revenue of Panama.’
‘They surpass other firms on the subject of real estate investment trusts.’
‘Morgan & Morgan is the leading law firm in Panama in the area of SIIs. Their advice to us exceeded our expectations and was key to our success.‘
‘The associates and partners at Morgan & Morgan get ahead of problems and propose practical solutions. They have extensive experience and can leverage various practice areas of the firm to address an issue.‘
‘Knowledge, experience and diligence. Very accessible. When points or potential issues are raised, they are very diligent in providing solutions and/or alternatives.‘
Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)
Cochez y Cía
Mercantil Holding Financiero Internacional
Banco Nacional de Panama
Inmobiliaria Casas Grandes
Insignia Financial Group
Grupo OTI (Fondo de Inversión Valle Lindo)
Desarrollo Inmobiliario del Este (Inversiones Bahía)
Universidad Francisco Marroquin
The Bank of Nova Scotia
Banco La Hipotecaria
Cirsa Gaming Corporation
Latin American Kraft Investments
Morgan Stanley & Co
Global Bank Corporation
Sustainable Urban Revitalization Fund
Prima Sociedad de Inversión Inmobiliaria
MMG Fixed Income Fund
- Advised Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF) on the listing and placement through Latinex of a series of step-up fixed rate notes for an aggregate of $200m under the $30bn medium-term note programme.
- Advised Cochez y Cía on the registration of revolving corporate bonds for an aggregate of $90m, under the abbreviated registration process for recurring registered issuers with the Superintendency of Capital Markets of Panama, in order for the issuer to publicly offer the bonds in multiple series.
- Advised Mercantil Holding Financiero Internacional, an affiliate of Grupo Mercantil, on the registration of corporate bonds for an aggregate of $100m with the Superintendency of Capital Markets of Panama in order for the issuer to publicly offer the bonds in series.
The capital markets practice at Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez is renowned for its ability to handle both transactional and regulatory matters. The team has a marked focus on debt offerings, particularly in the real estate sector, where it advises a growing number of developers on the use of capital markets structures to finance projects and acquisitions. In addition, it has a significant practice in the structuring and registration of investment funds, and is increasingly prominent in the fintech space. María Alejandra Cargiulo takes the lead on the transactional side of the practice, with strengths in public and private offerings and securitisations, and senior partner Luis López Alfaro focuses on compliance matters. Associate Ana Raquel Sedda provides capable support to both partners.
Luis López Alfaro; Maria Alejandra Cargiulo
Global Bank Corporation
Eco Group Holdings
J Safra Sarasin Group
Insignia Financial Advisors
Caribbean Financial Group
Administradora e Inmobiliaria
- Advised fund promoter and administrator AV Securities on the structuring, registration and listing of a $400m multi-class umbrella public investment fund, AV Funds.
- Advised Banco Aliado and Grupo Mayo on the structuring, registration and underwriting of the $80m secured revolving corporate notes and bond programme of Administradora e Inmobiliaria.
- Advised Eco Group Holdings on the sale of 100% of its stake in local brokerage house and fund manager Lifeinvest Asset Management.
Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán advises a broad client portfolio of banks, multilateral institutions, private funds and corporations on the full range of capital markets matters, from public offerings on both the domestic and international markets to the licensing of brokerage houses and investment fund managers. The highly experienced Gabriel González-Ruiz, whose workload spans regulatory and transactional matters, is a key contact; other names to note include Michelle O de de la Guardia, who has additional expertise in trust-related issues, Luis Chalhoub and recently promoted partner Alfredo Fonseca.
Demonstrating strength in the real estate, tourism and retail sectors in particular, the team at Quijano & Associates is well versed in both debt and equity capital markets transactions, advising on share offerings, capital raises and bond issuances, including cross-border matters. The practice also handles registrations with the Superintendency of the Securities Market (SMV) and advises a high volume of clients seeking to obtain investment adviser licences from the regulator. Oliver Muñoz leads the team, bringing his notable previous in-house experience with the SMV. Senior associates Ileana Céspedes and Luis Miguel Rojer provide key support across the full range of capital markets matters.
SIGMA International and Global Market Attorneys
Boutique transactional firm SIGMA International and Global Market Attorneys‘ strength in the energy and projects space is reflected in its capital markets practice, which focuses on assisting clients with bond offerings to finance high-profile projects; its impressive track record includes advising on the first green bond issuance by a private company in Central America. The team also stands out for its specialist expertise in international transactions such as Rule 144A/Regulation S offerings. Practice head Cecilio Castillero and the capable junior team – senior associate Mónica Moreno and associate Eric Carles – are highly experienced in multi-jurisdictional matters, having previously practised in New York.
Virtù Atelier Legal
Specialist corporate and financial services boutique Virtù Atelier Legal‘s active capital markets practice benefits from the extensive experience of practice co-heads Ana Lucrecia Tovar (who previously acted as an adviser to the securities regulator and the Panamanian stock exchange) and Marelissa Quintero (a former superintendent of the SMV). The team advises on regulatory issues, the structuring of SIIs and share offerings on Latinex, and plays a particularly prominent role in the real estate and tourism sectors, advising a number of major developers and investors. Melissa Cortizo, who stands out for her advice to hospitality and tourism groups, is also a name to note.
Ana Lucrecia Tovar; Marelissa Quintero de Stanziola