They toppled Iceland’s prime minister and exposed dodgy dealings from Argentina to Zimbabwe.
But after three weeks, 11 ½ million leaks, and untold numbers of breathless newspaper headlines, investors have taken a second look at the emerging regional financial center of Panama – and yawned.
That wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen. After all, the Panama Papers had finally shone an “uncomfortable light” on the small Central American republic as the “super-node through which the world’s illicit billions flow,” as The Guardian breathlessly reported.
Worse still, Ramón Fonseca, co-founder of the law firm at the heart of the storm, is a close friend of Panama’s president, Juan Carlos Varela. That firm, Mossack Fonseca, has even advised the country’s foreign ministry in the past.
And according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the organization that ‘broke’ the story, the reports have dealt a crippling blow to the offshore finance industry.
Yet rather than panicking, investors in Panama’s bonds appear to be taking a cigar moment.
The market has moved almost entirely in step with the broader Latin American region, points out Kieran Curtis, emerging market bonds manager at Standard Life on this week’s Emerging Opportunities show. Meanwhile Central America specialist investors, David and Arésé Pollard of Pollard Et Filles, join the conversation to explain why. Listen here: