In a sign that Latin American governments have begun to cautiously resume borrowing on international capital markets, the government of Chile has named Chase Manhattan Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co. lead managers of a $500-million issue of 10-year sovereign bonds.

A Chase spokesman declined to comment on the Chilean announcement last week, citing Securities and Exchange Commission regulations.

Although Chile has long been considered one of the better managed countries in Latin America, along with other Latin American countries it has been virtually unable to get access to capital markets since a global financial crisis began in Southeast Asia 18 months ago.

According to the Chilean government, the issue is scheduled for the second quarter of this year. J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter have been named co-managers.

The issue, the first by Chile in recent years, is intended to provide investors with a benchmark against which they can measure Chile's country risk, Finance Minister Eduardo Aninat told news agencies.

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