Mexico’s Cemex posts first quarterly profit since 2009

July 18, 2014

07/18/14 Reuters

CEMEX_altaMexico’s Cemex, one of the world’s largest cement companies, on Friday reported its first quarterly profit since the financial crisis in 2009 and said sales rose by double-digits in the United States and the Mediterranean, even as its home market remained weak.

The company reported an unexpected profit of $76 million, mostly driven by a $77 million gain from a derivative position tied to the company’s own share price. Cemex stock rose 9.5 percent in the second quarter.

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Mexico’s Cemex Says CEO Zambrano Died in Madrid

May 13, 2014

sparks while workingNY Times, 5/12/14

Lorenzo Zambrano, who transformed Cemex SA de Mexico from a regional cement producer into a global player, died Tuesday in Spain, the company said. Zambrano, 70, died in Madrid of natural causes, the company said without giving other details. Trained as an engineer, Zambrano was considered one of the most important businessmen in Mexico. He became Cemex’s chief executive officer in 1985. A decade later he added the title of chairman of the board of directors.

With Zambrano at the helm, the Monterrey-based company expanded beyond Mexico and now has operations in 50 countries on five continents. Cemex has been the world’s largest supplier of cement, and possibly the biggest building materials supplier, since 2007, when it won a controlling stake in Australia’s Rinker Group Ltd. The company said in a statement that “the operation and administration of the group will continue to develop normally” and that in the coming days the board of directors would meet to decide how to proceed.

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The new face of Mexican policing

June 14, 2013
Jesus Villaseca (Flickr)

Jesus Villaseca (Flickr)

The Economist, 6/13/2013

ON ONE side of a low hill in the middle of Monterrey, Mexico’s biggest industrial city, lies Independencia, a district so run down that donkeys still carry heavy goods to the top. On the other side is San Pedro Garza García, one of Latin America’s most affluent neighbourhoods and home to some of its biggest companies.

In the past four years, the yawning social divide between them has been bridged by violence. First, the sound of gun battles between drug gangs fighting in Independencia carried over the hill to the mansions of San Pedro. Then the killings began in San Pedro itself. In a place once considered by its residents to be safer than Texas, just a few hours’ drive away, murders, carjackings and extortion became everyday occurrences. Some rich families fled to Texas—and were branded as “cowards” by Lorenzo Zambrano, the boss of Cemex, a cement-maker which is one of Monterrey’s (and Mexico’s) biggest firms.

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Mexico’s Robust Wind Energy Prospects Ruffle Nearby Villages

February 8, 2013

windmillNational Geographic, 2/7/2013

Largely thanks to Oaxaca’s unique geography, Mexico’s wind power capacity expanded to 1,350 megawatts in 2012, according to reports from a national wind industry conference in Mexico City last month, marking nearly a 140 percent expansion in capacity in a single year. Stands of the turbines now fill Oaxacan horizons, with more planned as developers pour millions of dollars into wind farms. While bringing development to the isolated area, the turbines have disrupted pastoral lifestyles and divided villages over leasing fees and other benefits promised to local communities.

The projects have arisen with strong support from Mexico’s central government. Before leaving office in December, Calderón was seen as an active proponent of wind power. The projects also have the participation of well-known Mexican companies, including cement maker Cemex and retailer Walmart de Mexico.

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Mexico’s Cemex seen on path back to profitability

November 21, 2012

The Globe and Mail, 11/20/2012

Mexico’s Cemex is expected to return to profitability as soon as 2013, as it overcomes a debt crunch that forced one of the world’s biggest cement makers to shelve aggressive expansion in the aftermath of the U.S. housing crash.

Analysts bet the company will be able to revert losses it has posted since 2008, when Cemex became swamped shortly after paying $16-billion (U.S.) to buy Australian peer Rinker, as tough cost-cutting decisions pay off.

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North of the border

August 24, 2012

Financial Times, 8/22/12

Over the past five years or so, Mexican companies have poured billions of  dollars into the US as they ramp up the purchase of assets that range from banks  to broadcasting companies and building-material suppliers. The push, which has  gone largely unnoticed, has extended the reach of Mexican businesses that once  looked exclusively to domestic customers.

Some people have even begun to call it the reconquista or “reconquest”, in reference to the recent clawing back, through demographics and  the spread of Mexican-owned businesses, of territory that was once Mexican and  became part of the US after the war between the countries in 1846.

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Mexico: North of the border

August 22, 2012

Financial Times, 8/22/2012

Over the past five years or so, Mexican companies have poured billions of dollars into the US as they ramp up the purchase of assets that range from banks to broadcasting companies and building-material suppliers. The push, which has gone largely unnoticed, has extended the reach of Mexican businesses that once looked exclusively to domestic customers.

Some people have even begun to call it the reconquista or “reconquest”, in reference to the recent clawing back, through demographics and the spread of Mexican-owned businesses, of territory that was once Mexican and became part of the US after the war between the countries in 1846.

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UPDATE 1-Mexico’s Cemex signs 10-yr outsourcing deal with IBM

July 30, 2012

Reuters, 7/30/2012

Mexico’s top cement maker Cemex said on Monday it has signed a 10-year outsourcing deal with IBM that will help it save close to $1 billion during the life of the contract.

International Business Machines Corp will provide Cemex with business process and information technology services. It will also include finance and accounting, and human resources back-office services, the companies said in a joint statement.

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Mexico’s Cemex fined for anti-competitive practices

February 14, 2012

Reuters, 2/14/12

Mexico’s competition watchdog fined cement giant Cemex 10.2 million pesos ($800,500) for anticompetitive practices in a 2005 dispute when the company blocked a shipment of cheap Russian-made cement from entering the country.

A rival group tried to import 26,000 tons of lower-priced Russian cement into Mexico, but the “Mary Nour” vessel was held up for months at a Mexican port and eventually turned away in 2005 after being blocked by Cemex .

The rival group brought a claim against Cemex in 2006, but the fine was only published by the competition regulator, known as Cofeco, on Monday. Cemex said it would appeal the decision.

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Venezuela to Pay Cemex $600 Million

December 2, 2011

The Wall Street Journal, 12/2/11

The Venezuelan government plans to pay $600 million to Cemex SAB for assets that it seized from the Mexican cement giant in 2008, ending years of disputes between the two parties and improving Cemex’s cash position as the company attempts to chip away at its hefty debt amid tepid global economic growth.

Cemex had brought the case before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes. It was one of some 20 international arbitration suits against President Hugo Chavez’s government after a large-scale nationalization campaign aimed at centralizing control over key economic sectors.

The payment corresponds to the 75% stake Cemex had in a local subsidiary. Venezuela will pay Cemex $240 million “in the upcoming days” and the remainder at $90 million a year, Ricardo Menendez, who is set to head Venezuela’s newly created Industry Ministry, said in a statement on a government website Thursday.

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