Brazil may delay euro bond sale amid global turmoil, sources say

SAO PAULO, March 14 Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:42pm EDT

SAO PAULO, March 14 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government could push back a potential euro-denominated bond beyond March if global financial turmoil shows no signs of improvement, two government sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday.

The biggest worry among government officials is about the escalation of tension between the United States and Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, which is wrestling with a potential split, the sources said. Such tension has led to higher borrowing costs for emerging market governments and companies as investors flee to the safest investments for protection.

Growing tension between the West and Russia ahead of the weekend referendum in Crimea pushed down stocks on major world markets and U.S. Treasury notes higher on Friday and ramped up the flight into safe-haven gold and the yen.

"We don't have a definitive timetable for the deal. It could happen by the end of March should a window of opportunity opens. Otherwise, we will delay it," one of the sources said. Both sources requested anonymity because they are not allowed to speak publicly on the matter.

In recent weeks, Brazil's government hired the investment-banking units of JPMorgan Chase & Co, Banco Santander SA and Banco do Brasil SA to organize meetings in Europe with investors, another two sources said. While the meetings were not specifically held to promote a deal, government officials were told that a potential 10-year bond offering in euros would be welcome, some of those attending the meetings told Reuters.

The government has 800 million euros ($1.1 billion) outstanding in euro debt securities maturing in Feb. 2015. The country first issued them in Feb 2005, with a re-tapping taking place a year later.

Efforts to reach the banks for comment were unsuccessful.

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