Banking and finance in Paraguay

Ferrere

Regional heavyweight Ferrere fields a banking and finance practice renowned for advising multilateral organisations, including IDB Invest, DEG and FMO. The firm also has a number of international banks on its client list, which it frequently assists on major cross-border deals. Praised for its ‘well-synchronised work between partners and associates‘, the team is led by Carlos Codas, an expert in banking regulatory matters who is also experienced in the market’s major transactions. Verónica Franco is another key figure; in one highlight, she led the firm’s advice to Banco Continental on its $400m unsecured notes issuance, the first sustainable bond issuance by a Paraguayan issuer. Corporate practice head Néstor Loizaga is also an important contact here, and Carlos Vasconsellos is the name to note for international corporate financing. At the senior associate level, Claudia Arietti specialises in bilateral and syndicated loans, trusts, secured transactions and PPP and turnkey projects, while Pamela Lezcano has recently returned from London, where she received her LLM, and advises companies, banks and regulators on finance and capital markets.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Codas

Testimonials

Ferrere stands out for its methodology and organisation in services, which is reflected in a well-synchronised work between partners and associates. They stand out for their professionalism, knowledge of the financial market and pragmatic approach.

Always available and very professional at every level, from junior to senior partner.

Expertise and quality in its presentations.

Speed ​​and quality of their legal opinions.

Carlos Vasconsellos is an excellent professional, who stands out for his knowledge of the financial industry and critical reasoning to offer simple solutions to complex problems.

Claudia Arietti stands out for her professionalism and legal knowledge.

Key clients

Banco Continental

Puente Administradora de Fondos de Inversión

Consorcio del Sur

IDB Invest

IDB

IFC

Agence Française de Développement (Proparco)

CAF (Andean Development Corporation)

Itaú

Stripe

Solar Ahorro y Finanzas

Fintech Inversiones

Work highlights

  • Advised Banco Continental on a $400m unsecured notes issuance under Rule 144A and Regulation S in the international capital markets.
  • Acted for IDB Invest in the structuring and registration process of its second global issuance programme with the CNV and the Asunción Stock Exchange.
  • Assisting Consorcio del Sur with financing the Costanera Sur Avenue project, consisting of a revolving working capital facility for up to $40m, and a syndicated long-term facility agreement for up to $130m.

Estudio Jurídico Gross Brown

Firmly established as a leading name in the field of banking and finance, Estudio Jurídico Gross Brown assists with every type of financing in the market, from bank lending and structured finance to restructuring and insolvency. The team is also noted for its expertise in capital markets matters, with a recent highlight seeing practice co-head Sigfrido Gross Brown counselling Citigroup Global Markets, Goldman Sachs, Itau BBA USA Securities and Santander Investment Securities as joint book-runners on an issuance of $1bn 4.950% bonds due 2031 by the Republic of Paraguay for the implementation of Covid-19 measures. Senior partner Jorge Rafael Gross Brown is a go-to contact for many of the firm's banking clients; and Jorge Ignacio Gross Brown, who has strong experience working on some of the country's most significant project financings, makes up the trio heading the practice. An impressive pool of associates assists the partners, with Mauricio Salgueiro, Pablo Debuchy and Sol Ávalos being very active across a range of mandates in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Rafael Gross Brown; Sigfrido Gross Brown; Jorge Ignacio Gross Brown

Testimonials

Speed, experience, knowledge.

They are the ones with the most experience in the financial law market. They anticipate the intentions of the regulator and adequately prepare us for the various contingencies that may occur.

Gross Brown stands out for its experience in the banking regulatory area and for its work in financing. They are managed in an organised way as a work team, which allows them to make quality deliveries with tight deadlines in complex operations.

Sigifrido Gross Brown is a professional with exceptional knowledge of the banking and finance industry. He is an excellent ally when negotiating contracts and seeking solutions to complex problems.

Pablo Debuchy stands out for making quality deliveries with short deadlines. He has a very good knowledge of the banking regulatory framework.

Mauricio Salgueiro is an excellent transactional lawyer, who stands out for having a proactive role in handling negotiations and capitalising on previous experiences to provide efficient solutions.

Key clients

Citigroup Global Markets

Goldman Sachs

Santander Investment Securities

Itaú BBA USA Securities

Sudameris Bank

Atria Logística

Innovatus Capital Partners

Credicentro

FIC de Finanzas

Citibank

Banco BBVA Paraguay

Banco Itaú Paraguay

Paraguayan Bank Association (Asoban)

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (Miga)

Commerzbank

Citibank – US DFC

Administración Nacional de Electricidad (Ande)

Santander

Barclays Bank

HSBC Securities (USA)

JP Morgan Securities

Work highlights

  • Acting for Itaú BBA in the structuring of a $110m syndicated senior secured loan facility to Yguazu Cementos and its shareholder Itacem, for the purchase of the majority shareholders’ stake by the minority shareholder and other additional refinancing.
  • Advising Sudameris Bank as arranger and lender of a secured syndicated loan facility of $100m for the construction of a cement factory.
  • Advising Citigroup Global Markets, Itaú BBA and Santander, as joint book-runners, in the Republic of Paraguay’s $225,858,000 principal amount of a further issuance of the Republic’s 5.400% bonds due 2050.

Vouga Abogados

Vouga Abogados is well versed across a wide variety of financial products, with standout expertise in cross-border financing and a developing focus on first-of-their-kind, innovative matters in the Paraguayan market. In 2020, the firm worked on its first ever international bond issuance, assisting JP Morgan Securities and Santander Investment Securities as initial purchasers, in Banco Continental's offering of $300m 2,750% senior notes due in 2025. This was led jointly by two of the coordinators of the practice: Carlos Vouga, an expert in finance transactions; and Cynthia Fatecha, a specialist in trusts, securities, capital markets regulations and mutual funds. Senior partner Rodolfo Vouga also oversees work in this area, with Rodolfo Guillermo Vouga also taking a leading role on many of the highlight matters. Senior associate Georg Birbaumer stands out in cross-border financing and capital markets work.

Practice head(s):

Rodolfo Vouga; Cynthia Fatecha; Carlos Vouga

Testimonials

Excellent team with knowledge of banking law.

Being foreigners in Paraguay, we chose to work with Vouga because of their international and multinational client base but local presence. We like that their practice is Paraguay-centric. We like the varied international experience of Vouga’s lawyers, including that their managing partner Rodolfo Vouga is US educated and NY State Bar accredited.

Knowledge in the trust area compared to other firms.

Cynthia Fatecha – knowledge in the area of ​​trusts, known trajectory, the best treatment in meetings and drafting of contracts, extensive knowledge in matters of companies.

We appreciate that Rodolfo Vouga is generally available to us at all times, always responsive, despite a challenging workload running his practice. He and Vouga Abogados are embedded with our firm in many positive ways and often we are fortunate to have Rodolfo Vouga join our weekly management calls to see where he can add value.

They are involved in the day to day, with prompt attention.

Quick and accurate attention to our requests.

Key clients

Banco De Desarrollo De America Latina (CAF)

TMF Group

Bolsa De Valores Y Productos De Asunción

World Trade Center Paraguay

Multibank

Tape Pora

Banco Aliado

Itau BBA

Banco Familiar

Clariden Leu Bank

Deutsche Investitions Und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

BID – Bid Invest

Banco Itaú Paraguay

Latin American Agribusiness Development Corporation (LAAD)

John Deere Financial

Incofin Investment Management / Rural

Impulse Fund

Towerbank International

Copetrol

Durli Leathers

Visión Banco

Santander Investment Securities

JP Morgan Securities

Paracel

Work highlights

  • Acted for J.P. Morgan Securities and Santander Investment Securities INC, as initial purchasers, in Banco Continental’s offering of $300m 2,750% senior notes due in 2025.
  • Assisted Towerbank International with the renewal of two secured loans to agribusiness companies in Paraguay (Agrofértil, for $7.5m, and Tecnomyl, for $6m).
  • Assisted the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) with the granting of a loan to an agrichemical producer in Paraguay.

BKM | Berkemeyer

BKM | Berkemeyer's 'solid team of professionals coordinated with its infrastructure specialists' acts for banks, financial institutions and local asset managers. Key domestic banks Banco Itaú and Banco Continental look to practice head Manuel Arias and his team, with the former instructing him on its acquisition, through two Brazilian affiliated companies, of 100% of the shares of Verbank Securities Casa de Bolsa. Hugo Berkemeyer leads the practice alongside Arias and Martín Carlevaro, who 'stands out for his experience in project financing'. The strength of the firm's senior associates is another important asset for the practice; Milena Sljivich and Vivian Maldonado are highlighted as 'two excellent professionals'. Also of note was the arrival of Andres Nasser Cibils from Moreno Ruffinelli & Asociados in October 2020.

Practice head(s):

Hugo Berkemeyer; Manuel Arias; Martín Carlevaro

Testimonials

Local and specific knowledge of financial regulatory issues, proximity and good treatment.

Kindness of treatment and closeness. Open to discuss and resolve issues quickly.

Milena Sljivich and Vivian Maldonado are two excellent professionals who are the ones with whom we are working the most. It is a pleasure to have their experience to advise us.

The Berkemeyer practice is characterized by its permanent commitment to the tasks entrusted to it. Our experience is that they can be counted on to provide adequate and creative answers and solutions to the legal problems we face, in addition to a strong commitment to the client. In banking and financial matters, it has a solid team of professionals coordinated with its specialists in infrastructure matters that make the firm, in my opinion, one of the best legal teams in these matters in Paraguay.

Its main strength is that it has a very good team of professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in banking and finance and a lot of knowledge of the Paraguayan financial market, which makes it a leader in the local market. The team we work with is made up of Manuel Arias, Martin Carlevaro and Milena Sljivich.

They stand out for their technical reliability and ability to quickly return with the authorities of the sector. Manuel Arias stands out.

Very good availability and personal / professional attention.

The speed to give answers to the queries made and the knowledge in projects of great complexity. Martín Carlevaro stands out for his experience in project finance in infrastructure projects, M&A and advice on bond issuance.

Key clients

Banco Continental

Banco Itaú Paraguay

ING Capital LLC

BBVA Paraguay

Consorcio Corredor Vial Bioceanico

Gletir Casa de Bolsa

Puente Casa de Bolsa

Valores Casa de Bolsa

Rutas del Este

Cadiem Casa de Bolsa

Firstlink Network

Wilmington Trust

Voucherpay

Prosegur Paraguay

Mastercard

XCoop

FCE Bank

Investor Casa de Bolsa

Work highlights

  • Assisted Wilmington Trust in its position as a beneficiary and indenture trustee for Frigorífico Concepción’s $161m bonds issuance.
  • Advised Banco Itaú on its acquisition of 100% of the shares of Verbank Securities Casa de Bolsa.
  • Assisting Consorcio Corredor Vial Bioceanico on an addendum to the working capital syndicated loan for its Bioceanic Corridor project, with banks Atlas, Regional, BNF and Sudameris.

Moreno Ruffinelli & Asociados

Key domestic banks Sudameris, Bancop and Agencia Financiera de Desarrollo (AFD) turn to Moreno Ruffinelli & Asociados for banking and finance advice. In one highlight in 2020, practice head José Moreno Ruffineli acted as counsel to AFD on the establishment of a fund supporting small and medium enterprises affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, while Maria Esmeralda Moreno was the key contact for Sudameris on a number of matters. Of counsel Mercedes Gimenez has over 20 years of experience in the area of banking and finance, and advises both Bancop and Sudameris, among others.

Practice head(s):

José Moreno Ruffinelli

Key clients

Agencia Financiera de Desarrollo (AFD)

Bancop

Sudameris Bank

Opec Fund for International Development (Ofid)

Solventa Calificadora de Riesgos

International Finance Corporation

Gical Almacenes Generales de Depósito

Banco Regional

Programa de Becas Carlos Antonio Lopez (Becal)

Work highlights

  • Advised AFD on the creation of a fund to support small and medium enterprises following the state of emergency declared over Covid-19.
  • Advised Sudameris Bank on a $40m finance agreement with Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden.
  • Advised Bancop on a corresponding banking services agreement with the Bank of Montréal.

Olmedo Abogados

Olmedo Abogados fields a banking and capital markets department that counts major local banks Banco Continental and Banco Regional among its regular clients. This area is managed by four experienced partners: Gustavo Olmedo is an elder statesman and reference in the field, with longstanding experience in Paraguay's major finance transactions, as well as bank insolvency procedures; Graciela Royg is an expert in corporate finance and capital markets, and has worked on a number of bank mergers in the country; José Ignacio Olmedo has advised several foreign companies on financing operations to local companies; and Ana Peña has recently advised on a number of capital markets transactions and regulatory matters. Enrique Zacarías is a name to note for banking litigation, and senior associate Alejandra Olmedo is often involved in structuring secured and unsecured financial transactions involving major lending institutions.

Practice head(s):

Gustavo Olmedo; José Ignacio Olmedo; Graciela Royg; Ana Peña

Key clients

Banco Continental

Finexpar

Banco de Occidente Panama

Banco  Rio

Compañia Administradora de Riesgos (Carsa)

Banco Regional

Feller Rate Calificadora de Riesgos

Financiera Paraguayo Japonesa

Work highlights

  • Advised Banco Continental as trustee in an administration and guarantee trust implemented to guarantee a syndicated loan of $100m.
  • Advised Finexpar as trustee in an administration and guarantee trust implemented to guarantee a syndicated loan of $100m, granted to Cementos Concepción for the construction of a cement, agricultural lime and concrete plant in San Lázaro.
  • Advised Banco Regional on the negotiation of Paraguayan treasury bills (Letras de Regulación Monetaria) issued by the Central Bank of Paraguay in the secondary market.

Palacios, Prono & Talavera

Agribusiness-sector financing is a standout specialism for Palacios, Prono & Talavera's banking and finance practice. Its clients include four of the country's domestic banks, and leading companies in the agribusiness industry, as well as other key industries, including oil and gas and cement production. Raúl Prono co-leads the team from the Ciudad del Este office, which gives agribusiness clients a local point of contact. Senior partner Carlos Palacios leads from Asunción; his recent highlights have included providing advice to Cementos Concepción, on which banking and finance expert Leticia Prono supported. Juan Pablo Palacios is a further name to note, particularly in relation to maritime law.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Palacios; Raúl Prono

Testimonials

We are completely satisfied with this practice. A total predisposition towards the client, from the partners to the assistants, with total professionalism.

The attention is personalised. My dealings are mostly with  Carlos Palacios and Leticia Prono, with whom I have a permanent direct line. The work is pleasant, professional, and efficient. Both professionals have a great ability to move forward on important issues without delay.

The members of the legal advice of our team in the banking area have the mission of legally advising the different areas, for the best performance of their functions, protecting our interests and contributing to the strengthening of the system. Internal control, with an emphasis on dynamism, automation of processes and speedy response times.

The team has excellent management of tools typical of the banking business, with the combination of attitudes and skills necessary to provide the necessary advice and ability to appreciate the current context.

Key clients

Banco Basa

Banco Sudameris

Banco GNB Paraguay

Banco Nacional de Fomento

Seguridad de Seguros

Royal & Sun Alliance

Providencia de Seguros

CIE

Cecon

Agrofértil

Trafigura PTE

Agrotec

Bunge

Tecnomyl

Agropecuaria Campos Nuevos

Work highlights

  • Advised Cecon in obtaining a syndicated loan for up to $100m from Sudameris Bank, Banco Familiar, Banco Continental, Vision Banco, Banco Nacional de Fomento and Banco Regional to finance the construction of a processing plant.
  • Assisted Trafigura with the drafting of a loan contract for the construction of barges of Trafigura in favour of Panchita G. de Navegación.
  • Assisted Agrofértil and Tecnomyl as borrowers in a senior secured term loan provided by Banco Itaú Paraguay, with Cooperatieve Rabobank as lead arrangers and the US Bank National Association as administrative agent.

Fiorio, Cardozo & Alvarado, Attorneys at Law

Fiorio, Cardozo & Alvarado, Attorneys at Law is best known for its advice to domestic banks Banco Regional and Banco Familiar, who have both looked to the firm for advice for over 20 years. Juan Bautista Fiorio and Marcelo Alvarado lead the team and recently assisted Fonplata with a $36m revolving loan facility to Banco Nacional de Fomento.

Practice head(s):

Juan Bautista Fiorio; Marcelo Alvarado

Key clients

Banco Regional

Banco Familiar

Tu Financiera

Regional Casa de Bolsa

Investor

Regional Administradora de Fondos Patrimoniales de Inversión

Visión Banco

Work highlights

  • Acted for Fonplata in a $36m revolving loan facility with an eight-year repayment term to Banco Nacional de Fomento.
  • Advised Banco Familiar as a participant in a $200m financial package granted by IDB Invest to Rutas del Este.

Mersán Abogados

Active in the market for over 75 years, MERSAN Abogados' banking and finance practice has a transactional focus, with particular expertise in capital markets deals. Clients include domestic and international financial institutions. Pablo Cheng Lu is the main contact for capital markets matters and co-leads the practice alongside Carlos Mersán, who has broad experience in financing.

Practice head(s):

Pablo Cheng Lu; Carlos Mersán

Key clients

Banco Itaú Paraguay

Citibank

Banco do Brasil

Bolsa de Valores y Productos de Asunción

Corporación Interamericana de Inversiones

Puerto de Caacupemí

Itaú BB Brasil

United Nations (ONU)

Verbank Securities Casa de Bolsa

Sudameris Bank

Sudameris Leasing

NB Casa de Bolsa

Work highlights

  • Acted for Verbank Securities Casa de Bolsa in the sale of 100% of the shares of the corporation to Itaú Unibanco Holding.

Parquet & Asociados

Javier Parquet and his team at PARQUET & ASOCIADOS are frequently instructed by state-owned banks and the Ministry of Finance, and have a particularly strong capital markets practice. International private clients also instruct the team, including US investment bank Oppenheimer, who sought advice as underwriter in bond issuances by Frigorífico Concepción in 2020. Javier Parquet's experience in public law and related banking and capital markets matters is backed up by associates Daniel Artaza and Lucas Corrales.

Practice head(s):

Javier Parquet

Testimonials

The firm has a good knowledge of the local market.

Daniel Artaza is an associate who demonstrates good handling of issues and situations, especially under pressure.

The team worked excellently, both in terms of technical knowledge and human treatment, as well as in its prompt responses in a timely manner.

We emphasise the support at all times and the good disposition to answer questions, no matter how many there are. That differentiates them from other teams.

Key clients

Ministry of Finance

National Development Bank (BNF)

Oppenheimer & Co.

Paraguayan Central Bank (BCP)

Paraguayan Chamber of Real Estate Developers (Capadei)

Ministry of Public Works and Communications (MOPC)

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Republic of Paraguay in several sovereign bond issuances, including $1bn in April 2020 due to Covid-19; and a new issuance and the reopening of 2023 bonds, totalling $825,858,000 in January 2021.
  • Advised Oppenheimer & Co as the underwriter bank in Frigorífico Concepcion’s additional bond issuance of $40m in October 2020 and of $21m in December 2020.
  • Advised BNF in the subscription of its Miga Facility Agreement of $100m in order to mitigate the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Peroni Sosa Tellechea Burt & Narvaja

Peroni Sosa Tellechea Burt & Narvaja's banking and finance team is headed by Graciela Narvaja, who has over 40 years of experience acting for financial institutions. Founding partner Guillermo Peroni also oversees this practice area, where he has a wealth of experience, particularly with foreign entities operating in Paraguay. Bond issuances and syndicated loan negotiations have featured prominently in the team's recent workload, with several deals involving international law firms that are advising clients dealing with Paraguayan companies or the state.

Practice head(s):

Guillermo Peroni; Graciela Narvaja

Testimonials

The cross-border banking solution is a niche practice and the service provided by the firm is commendable. We enjoy the cordial relationship with the firm and the partner, who helps to update the cross-border manual with high quality and flexibility to any clarification sought.’

Our main contact is Graciela Narvaja, with whom we have very cordial relationship. She provides us accurate and high-quality advice. She is very responsive and always meets the set deadline.’

Key clients

Wilmington Trust, National Association

Navios South American Logistics

Blue Orchard Investment Managers

Latitude 20 Capital Partners

Morgan Stanley International Wealth Management

Milbank London

Holland & Knight (UK)

Duane Morris

EY Global Delivery Services India

Work highlights

  • Advised Navios South American Logistics on a corporate $500m bond issuance.
  • Advised Wilmington Trust as a trustee in connection with a $100m bond issuance by Frigorífico Concepción.
  • Assisted Blue Orchard Microfinance Fund with the review of documents related to a $2m loan provided to Vision Banco of Paraguay.