Paraguay moving closer to Pacific Alliance; expects invitation for summit in Mexico

April 24, 2014

globe - south america - connections to worldMercoPress, 4/24/14

The announcement followed the visit to Asuncion of Colombian Deputy foreign minister Patti Londoño who met with her peers in the framework of the Paraguay-Colombia political and trade discussions mechanism, according to what was agreed by foreign ministers Eladio Loizaga and Maria Angeles Holguin last 24 March.

”We are very pleased to have Paraguay as an observer of the Alliance (Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico), but each country must agree on the areas it will be concentrating efforts and links with the founding members of the group“, said Ms Londoño.

”The Pacific Alliance already has 30 observer-countries, which is part of the integration effort in several areas and the links we establish with observers”, added the Colombian official.

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Hundreds in Mexico Protest Telecommunications Law

April 24, 2014

AntennaTime, 4/23/14

Hundreds of students and activists marched in Mexico’s capital Tuesday to protest a telecommunications law being debated by the Senate that they say will allow the government to arbitrarily censor Internet content.

Protesters carrying signs that read “No to Censorship” and “Freedom of Expression” walked along Mexico City’s main Reforma Avenue on their way to the Senate building after organizing the demonstration on social networks.

The government says the proposal seeks tools to combat illegal activities on the Internet, including child pornography.

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US Rules Against Mexico, Turkey in Steel Dispute

April 22, 2014

sparks while workingABC News, 4/21/14

President Barack Obama’s administration on Monday sided with American steel producers in a politically charged international trade dispute, ruling that imported steel reinforcing bar from Mexico and Turkey unfairly undercuts U.S. prices.

The preliminary decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce means companies in Mexico and Turkey will be subject to immediate duties. Within a week, the U.S. government will stop distribution at the nation’s borders of the imported steel reinforcing bar, which is known as steel rebar and is used to reinforce concrete, until a cash bond or deposit is posted in the amount of the newly imposed duties. U.S. Customs and Border Protection may impose retroactive duties for up to 90 days before the ruling due to the seriousness of the violations, Commerce said.

The amount of duties ranges from 10 percent to 66 percent for Mexican companies. For Turkish companies, the duties were roughly 2 percent.

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Mexico Peso Volatility Falls as Investors Await Energy Law Rules

April 22, 2014

peso by Guanatos GwynBloomberg, 4/21/14

Mexico’s peso volatility dropped for a sixth day as investors awaited the presentation of proposed regulations to put into effect constitutional changes that were enacted to support growth.

Three-month historical volatility, a measure of the peso’s fluctuations during the period, declined to 9.2 percent today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The peso appreciated 0.2 percent to 13.0301 per U.S. dollar, the biggest advance against the dollar among the greenback’s 16 most-traded counterparts.

Investors are waiting for President Enrique Pena Nieto to propose rules for implementing constitutional changes to open the energy industry, which his administration predicts will boost growth by 1 percentage point by the end of his term. Finance Minister Luis Videgaray had said he wanted the measures, known as secondary laws, to be presented and passed by next week, when the current congressional session ends.

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New NPR Series ‘Borderland: Dispatches From The U.S.-Mexico Boundary’

April 21, 2014

border2Reports on NPR Newsmagazines March 19-28

In an effort to discover how two nations influence each other, Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep and a team of NPR journalists traveled the 1,900-mile length of the U.S.-Mexico border to report on the people, goods and culture that cross the heavily-fortified boundary. NPR News presents the dispatches and related coverage as the multipart series “Borderland,” exploring major issues such as immigration, the drug trade, business and cultural change through the personal stories of people who live where the countries meet. “Borderland” begins airing today on Morning Edition,continuing daily until March 28 across the show as well as All Things Considered and Weekend Edition Saturday and Sunday, and are also available online at npr.org/borderland.

“Borderland” humanizes border issues, which are hotly-debated but not always well-illuminated. Inskeep and fellow journalists talk with migrants, refugees and law enforcement officials, and meet with writers, musicians and workers in Mexican factories known as maquiladoras. NPR’s John Burnett, Kelly McEvers, Carrie Kahn and Ted Robbins, as well as Monica Ortiz-Uribe and Jude Joffe-Block of public radio’s Fronteras Desk also offer complementary reports in the series.

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The fracking divide: Mexico’s oil frontier beckons U.S. drillers in wake of new law

April 21, 2014

energy- oil pumps 2The Washington Post, 4/19/14

The geological marvel known to Texas oilmen as the Eagle Ford Shale Play is buried deep underground, but at night you can see its outline from space in a twinkling arc that sweeps south of San Antonio toward the Rio Grande. The light radiates from thousands of surface-level gas flares and drilling rigs. It is the glow of one of the most extravagant oil bonanzas in American history, the result of the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Curving south and west, the lights suddenly go black at Mexico’s border, as if there were nothing on the other side.

A landmark energy bill approved by Mexico’s Congress in December is aimed at correcting this disparity. It has opened the country’s oil industry to private and foreign investment for the first time in 75 years, with the goal of bringing in new technology, expertise and a risk-taking culture long missing at the state oil monopoly, Pemex.

Lawmakers will be hashing out the nuts and bolts of the law over the coming weeks, but expectations are that U.S. and other global companies will be able to bid on oil and gas projects by the end of this year, beckoning the fracking crews across the border — into some of Mexico’s most violent areas.

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All Eyes On Mexico: Energy Reform Creating Opportunities Across Oil And Gas Supply Chain

April 21, 2014

energy -drilling_platform_in_seaForbes, 4/17/14

In the next two weeks, Mexico’s lawmakers are expected to release a series of laws, known as the secondary laws, that should begin to delineate how the revolutionary energy reforms approved last December will be implemented.

Prior to the reforms, Mexico had the most closed energy regime of any country in the world, save North Korea, some have quipped. This Latin perestroika is not going unnoticed in the US and abroad. It has become de rigeur at nearly every oil and gas conference to have at least one panel to discuss the changes, and with good reason.

Not only is Mexico close, the opportunity is huge. The country is prospective for 54.6 billion barrels of oil  equivalent in conventional resources, and 60.2 billion in unconventional, according to PEMEX figures. And don’t forget NAFTA.  Although Mexico’s energy industry had been excluded under Chapter 6 of NAFTA, that exclusion may no longer apply given the reforms, said Dallas Parker, a partner with Mayer Brown, during a presentation at Mergermarket’s 6th Annual Energy Forum last week in Houston.

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Governor Herbert: Trade mission bolstered ties to Mexico

April 18, 2014

increase bar chartThe Salt Lake Tribune, 4/17/14

Gov. Gary Herbert proclaimed his recent trade mission to Mexico a success after three Utah-based companies used the tour to release plans to expand operations there.

Space Monkey, doTerra International and Converus all announced new ventures during the governor’s April 7-10 trade mission, which included 39 Utah business leaders and six government officials.

“Utah and Mexico have a rich history of economic trade,” Herbert said, noting that Utah exports to Mexico last year approached $550 million. “We can maximize the expertise and business opportunities we have in common and explore new ones. There is room to deepen that relationship to benefit both economies.”

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All Eyes On Mexico: Energy Reform Creating Opportunities Across Oil And Gas Supply Chain

April 18, 2014

energy - oil pumpsForbes, 4/17/14

In the next two weeks, Mexico’s lawmakers are expected to release a series of laws, known as the secondary laws, that should begin to delineate how the revolutionary energy reforms approved last December will be implemented.

Prior to the reforms, Mexico had the most closed energy regime of any country in the world, save North Korea, some have quipped. This Latin perestroika is not going unnoticed in the US and abroad. It has become de rigeur at nearly every oil and gas conference to have at least one panel to discuss the changes, and with good reason.

Not only is Mexico close, the opportunity is huge. The country is prospective for 54.6 billion barrels of oil  equivalent in conventional resources, and 60.2 billion in unconventional, according to PEMEX figures. And don’t forget NAFTA.  Although Mexico’s energy industry had been excluded under Chapter 6 of NAFTA, that exclusion may no longer apply given the reforms, said Dallas Parker, a partner with Mayer Brown, during a presentation at Mergermarket’s 6th Annual Energy Forum last week in Houston.

Read more…


Citigroup’s Banamex Says Alleged Bad Loans Will Hurt Profit

April 16, 2014

finance-market_dataThe Wall Street Journal, 4/14/14

Citigroup Inc.  ‘s Mexican unit, Grupo Financiero Banamex, said Monday that its first-quarter net profit will be reduced by $112 million due to reserves it has set aside to cover seemingly bad loans to Mexican oil services firms.

The cut comes on top of Citigroup’s move to reduce its fourth-quarter and full-year results by about $235 million after finding allegedly fraudulent billings at its Mexico unit.

Banamex said that the new charge is related to loans it extended to Oceanografía SA de CV, the company that Citigroup accused of fraud in February, as well as from loans to a second oil services firm that appears to have also engaged in fraud.

Citigroup disclosed earlier Monday that the second potential fraud it has uncovered involved less than $30 million in credit. The New York bank declined to reveal the name of the second company. Mexican authorities said Citigroup hasn’t yet filed charges against another oil services firm.

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