U.S. banks kicked off another round of Latin bond underwritings on the Euromarkets last week.

Citibank International, a unit of Citicorp, was lead manager for a $175 million issue for Celulose Nipo-Brasileira; J.P. Morgan brought to market a $60 million issue to market for Klabin Fabricadora, a Brazilian textile company; and Chase Manhattan handled a $50 million-issue for Venezuela's Telcel International.

International bond issues by Latin American corporations and governments have continued to surge this year, belying predictions by some analysts that they would level off after four years of growth.

Dollar Volume Has More Than Doubled

According to IFR Securities Data, a London-based affiliate of American Banker, 1993 Latin American Eurobond issues have reached nearly $20 billion so far, up from $9.5 billion last year and nearly $4.5 billion in 1991.

Among U.S. banks, Chase has been one of the most aggressive in pursuing Latin underwritings and related capital markets activities. The bank is now vying with CS First Boston for first place among lead managers of Latin bond issues this year.

Each has underwritten slightly more than $2 billion worth of bonds in 1993. Citicorp stands third with $1.87 billion of issues brought to market and Morgan is fifth with 1.6 billion.

Chase Plans Investment Banking Expansion

Over the first nine moths this year, Chase also served as co-manager on some $8 billion more in Latin, Asian, and European issues and distributed $580 million worth of money market securities for Latin American clients. Chase officials said the bank plans to expand its activities in investment banking.

In a major deal last month, Chase served as both financial adviser and debt financer for the $233 million purchase of Kayser-Roth Corp., & Greensboro, N.C., hosiery maker, by Mexico's Grupo Synkro.

The transaction represents the first cross-border deal between Mexican and U.S. companies since the North American Free Trade Agreement was approved by Congress on Nov. 17.

"We've got another five, six deals of the same sort in the pipeline," said one Chase manager.

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