BMW’s $1 billion plant surfs Mexican investment wave

July 7, 2014

07/03/14 Reuters

Washauto06_bmw_325_AudeVivereLuxury car maker BMW (BMWG.DE) revealed a $1 billion Mexican plant investment on Thursday, becoming the latest major automaker to take advantage of the country’s growing industrial base and tariff-free access to the U.S. market.

BMW outlined plans to build a factory in the central Mexican city of San Luis Potosi, reducing the German company’s dependence on higher-cost plants at home.

The plant will begin assembling models in 2019 with an initial workforce of 1,500 and annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, the company said.

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New airport plan for Mexico City eyes six runways

June 24, 2014

06/19/14 Reuters

airportMexico is reviewing design plans for a new 120 billion peso ($9.23 billion) Mexico City airport which will eventually have six runways and should begin operating by 2018, according to sources familiar with the plan.

The new hub is due to replace the overstretched Benito Juarez International Airport and would be built on the area of the Texcoco lake bed nearby, said two people with knowledge of the project, few details about which have been revealed.

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Mexican Billionaire Slim Backs Biotech Firm Focused On Cancer and Kidney Disease Treatments

June 24, 2014

Forbes, 06/23/14

medicine science 2Atara Biotherapeutics Inc., which is developing therapies for illnesses such as kidney disease and cancer, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO), The Wall Street Journal  reported on Friday. Through a family trust that owns 9.3% of Atara shares, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helú is one of Atara’s key investors, according to the regulatory filing.

In the filings Atara said that the proceeds from the IPO would be used for development and clinical studies of two of its drug candidates and to expand its research for other drug candidates. Asked by email whether Slim plans to increase his participation in Atara, Arturo Elías Ayub, Slim’s spokesperson, declined to comment.

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Mexico Energy Reform: Imaginary Pemex

June 23, 2014

06/23/14 Proceso: Olga Pellicer– Translated by: Jane Brundage – Mexico Voices

Pemex Logo

Political life in Mexico is full of surprises. One of them has been public indifference to the forthcoming adoption of secondary legislation for the constitutional reform in the energy sector, which is one of the most significant changes for the life of the country. Several analysts have called attention to the fact that “the devil is in the details.” That is, the true scope of what it is intended to reform–such as, among other things, making Pemex a productive enterprise competing on an equal footing with domestic and foreign investment–will only be seen when changes to the Constitution are implemented.

The secondary laws reveal how far the change goes: if the reforms respond to the proclaimed great ends, or if they hide a number of inefficiencies that will bring the country to better paths only with great difficulty. Therefore, a careful reading and sharp critique of the voluminous document sent by the Executive branch would be in order. Time has passed, but necessary reflection on the mistakes and successes of the secondary [implementing] legislation has not taken place.
The political parties of the opposition have been locked in their internal struggles and, in the case of the PAN [National Action Party], they are committed to the planned vote. The parties of the left are, in principle, the fiercest guardians of oil wealth; but besides trying to resolve their endless struggles, they have chosen to focus their energies on promoting the people’s consultation to overturn the reform and on going abroad to denounce the falseness of the prosperous Mexico that Peña Nieto promises. I have doubts about the appropriateness and effectiveness of such activities but, in any case, what damaged all of them is their lack of responsibility in approaching approval of what they have neither studied nor discussed before the public. Early discussions in the Senate portend a hasty adoption of laws by the PRI [Party of the Institutional Revolution] and PAN with the least possible public participation.

Citigroup Mexico Probe Looks at Loan Changes Before Fraud

May 30, 2014

piggy bank with coinsBloomberg 05/30/14

Mexican authorities are probing why Citigroup Inc. (C)’s local unit boosted the size and length of loans to an oil-services firm in the months leading up to the discovery of a $400 million fraud, the nation’s chief banking regulator said. Officials are examining a change Banamex made around September 2012 to extend due dates to about three months instead of three weeks, Jaime Gonzalez, head of the regulatory agency CNBV, said in an interview. He’s also looking into the decision by bank executives a year later to raise credit limits for Oceanografia SA, the oil-services firm at the center of the investigation, he said.

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USC and Mexico align to boost opportunities in education and innovation

May 29, 2014
USC Photo/Gus Ruelas

USC Photo/Gus Ruelas

USC News, 5/29/14

USC strengthened its ties with the government of Mexico during a recent visit by a delegation led by Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade.

Along with Sergio Alcocer, under-secretary for North American affairs, and Carlos Sada, consul general of Mexico in Los Angeles, Meade met with USC President C. L. Max Nikias and USC Trustee Edward P. Roski, Jr. after the launch of the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research in Mexico City.

The May 21 forum, which was jointly convened by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Meade, was established to foster the growth of student exchange, research and innovation programs between the U.S. and Mexico.

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Mexico’s Economy Remains Weak in First Quarter

May 23, 2014

Wall Street Journal, 5/23/14peso by Guanatos Gwyn

MEXICO CITY—Mexico’s economy remained weak in the first quarter as the economic slowdown in the U.S. weighed on the country’s vital export engine and the impact of new taxes hit domestic demand.

Gross domestic product expanded 0.28% in the January-to-March period, seasonally adjusted from the previous quarter, the national statistics agency said Friday, below expectations of 0.4%. The increase translates into an annualized seasonally adjusted rate of 1.1%.

The economy expanded 1.8% from the first quarter of 2013, helped by the shift in the Easter holiday this year to April. Adjusting for the calendar effect, growth was 0.6% from a year earlier.

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Mexico City: Golden Line Adds Tarnish to Sprawling Subway System

May 23, 2014

450px-Estación_Mixcoac_Línea_12_Metro_de_la_Ciudad_de_MéxicoNew York Times, 5/22/14

MEXICO CITY — There is music on the trains of Mexico City’s newest subway, the Golden Line, piped in at just the right volume to be pleasantly audible over the rumble. One recent morning, the playlist came to a classic: “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

The team that selects the Metro’s songs might want to scratch that one. This train was not going to another state. It was not going to the terminal, not even halfway.

Eleven of the Golden Line’s 20 stations, along its elevated stretch of track, have been forced to close until further notice.

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Stark Photos Of Inequality In Mexico City Show A Metropolis Divided

May 21, 2014

hilltop slumThe Huffington Post, 05/20/14

Mexico has an inequality problem. The uneven distribution of wealth is perhaps best illustrated by a series of images captured by photographer Oscar Ruíz in Mexico City. Produced by ad firm Publicis, the campaign seeks to to highlight the huge wealth disparity in the country in order to “Erase the Difference.” The aerial photos appear to have been taken in Mexico’s City Santa Fe district, where modern developments and high-rise buildings have spread like wildfire in the past two decades. “This image has not been modified. It’s time to change that,” a statement beneath each photograph reads.

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Violence in North Mexico Heats up; So Do Protests

May 20, 2014


protest -- stroke -- resistanceABC News, 5/19/14

The bodies of 16 people were found in two different areas of a northern Mexico border state where a surge in violence in recent weeks has triggered civic protests over drug-fueled killings.

The Tamaulipas state government said in a statement that police found the bodies of five men and four women in an empty lot of the town of Hidalgo on Monday. Nearby, three homes had been set ablaze, it said.

Hours earlier, Tamaulipas authorities reported the bodies of four men and three women were found stuffed inside a sport utility vehicle in the port city of Tampico on Sunday. State prosecutors said the unidentified bodies were the result of killings linked to “internal disputes between presumed criminal gangs.”

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