At least one Brazilian investment bank, boutique outfit Hampton Solfise, has begun to promote domestic currency-denominated receivables investment funds (FIDCs) among U.S. investors. Recently hired as a Hampton director, Stephen Taber went on a non-deal roadshow in early February to New York and Boston, targeting hedge funds, insurance companies and mutual funds. "Given the intense global demand for fixed income, people will start looking at alternative investments," said Taber, who has worked at hedge fund Latin American Technology Fund. While the tour did not push a particular product, the bank does have a fund under its belt, having launched consumer loan-backed FMAX in mid-2003.
Given that currency swaps are fairly expensive, Hampton is betting that buyside players might opt to hop in without one. "We're looking for the people that have the view that FX volatility has diminished" in Brazil, Taber said.