Nigel Ward, Legal Week - Norton Rose and leasing indys act on China/Brazil financing

28 September 2010

This article first appeared in Legal Week 28/09/2010

Norton Rose has advised on a $.1.2bn (£758m) trade loan from the Export-Import Bank of China and the Bank of China in a deal that underlines the growing trade links between Asia and Brazil.

The City law firm advised the banks who have issued the loan to the world's largest iron ore producer, Vale, to finance the construction of 12 new shipping vessels to transport iron ore to China from Brazil.

Norton Rose banking partner Nigel Ward led the deal with a team including senior associate Jonathan Silver, associates Sharon Ho, Jonathan Keats, Cui Duan and paralegal Zhen Jin.

Machado Meyer Sendacz & Opice acted as Brazilian counsel for the lenders, while the Beijing office of King & Wood advised on aspects of Chinese law. Vale, one of Brazil's largest companies, was advised in-house.

Ward commented: "The reason I came to China last year was in response to the fact that [national] banks have been extremely active in supporting exports and this fits into a very significant movement by the Chinese banks to fund international companies interacting with the region.

"This particular transaction is very much part of the broader China/Brazil relationship and is indicative of growing work. We are looking to build our capabilities in the region to meet this growth."

The deal comes amid mounting international interest in the burgeoning Brazilian economy with the country's largest company - Petrobras - last week launching a recording-breaking rights issue.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton acted as US counsel for Petrobras alongside Machado Meyer on the issue, which raised $70bn (£44.6bn) in the largest equity offering ever. Shearman & Sterling and Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr & Quiroga acted as underwriter counsel.