U.S. banks this month obtained mandates to underwrite nearly $2 billion in debt issues for Latin borrowers.

In one of the biggest Latin Eurobond mandates to date, Chase Manhattan Corp. and Lehman Brothers Inc. will underwrite $1 billion in Eurobond issues for Argentina.

Market sources said Argentina will likely start with a $150 million three-year and a $100 million seven-year issue in July.

Chase earlier this month brought two other issues to market, a $60 million five-year Eurobond for Argentina's Tecpetrol and a $150 million five-year issue for Celulosa Arauco, a Chilean paper company.

Bankers Trust International confirmed that its $150 million five-year deal for Colombia's Ecopetrol may be launched next week.

Citicorp has obtained at least four mandates.

They include $300 million in Euromarket issues with different maturities for Argentina's Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires; a $150 million, five-year issue for Brazil's Telebras that Citicorp is underwriting with J.P. Morgan & Co.; a $50 million three-year issue for Banco de Colombia that Citicorp is doing with Swiss Bank Corp.; and a $75 million five-year deal for Mexico's Industrias de Monterrey SA.

Sources added that Citicorp may also lead a $200 million, five-year deal for Compania Naviera Perez Company, an Argentine holding company. Citicorp officials were unavailable for comment.

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