Declining Ratings for Mexico’s Peña Nieto

8/27/2015 Pew Research Center 

Dario Lopez-Mills - AP (2)
Dario Lopez-Mills/AP

Three years after being elected president, Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto is increasingly unpopular. Following a year plagued by scandal and controversy, his ratings have fallen, and Mexicans have grown disappointed with key elements of his ambitious agenda.

A new Pew Research Center survey of Mexico finds 44% of the public expressing a favorable view of Peña Nieto, down from 51% in 2014.

Moreover, his ratings on specific issues have dropped sharply. Last year, 55% approved of how Peña Nieto was handling education. Education reform is a cornerstone of his presidency that has met with intense opposition from the country’s powerful teachers unions. However, this year just 43% give him a favorable review on this issue.

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Mexico’s Trade Deficit Widens in July to $2.27 Billion

8/27/2015 Wall Street Journal

MEXICpeso by Guanatos GwynO CITY—Mexico’s trade deficit widened in July as a drop in crude-oil prices continued to weigh on petroleum exports while manufacturing exports grew at a modest pace from a year before.

The country registered a trade deficit of $2.27 billion last month, bringing the accumulated shortfall in the first seven months of the year to $6.32 billion, the National Statistics Institute said Thursday. The deficit was wider than the median estimate of $1.44 billion in a Wall Street Journal poll of six economists. It was also wider than the $1 billion deficit registered in July 2014.

Overall exports fell 2.6% to $32.8 billion, while imports edged up 1.1% from a year before to $35.07 billion.

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Mexican watchdog probes Carlos Slim’s fixed-line Telmex group

8/26/2015 Financial Times 

Telmex

Mexico’s telecoms regulator is investigating whether Telmex, Mexican mogul Carlos Slim’s fixed-line telecoms group, breached the terms of its concession by being involved with a satellite television service.

The investigation potentially spells more bad news for Mr Slim’s América Móvil (AMX), whose stock has fallen by a fifth so far this year.

AMX, Telmex’s parent, said in a statement to the stock exchange that the Federal Telecommunications Institute had notified it that it was examining both whether it had breached its concession as well as the constitution and telecoms law. That relates to a rule requiring retransmission of television signals by other concession holders — widely known as the “must offer” principle.

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First, Trump booted Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of his news conference. Then things got interesting.

8/25/15 The Washington Post

Via Flickr user "Gage Skidmore"
Via Flickr user “Gage Skidmore”

Two minutes into Donald Trump’s news conference here Tuesday night came the question he tried to silence.

“Mr. Trump, I have a question,” said Jorge Ramos, the top news anchor at Univision and one of the country’s most recognizable Mexican-Americans, as he stood up in the front row of journalists.

“Excuse me,” the Republican presidential front-runner told Ramos. “Sit down. You weren’t called. Sit down.”

Ramos, holding a piece of paper, calmly tried to ask Trump about his plan to combat illegal immigration. “I’m a reporter, an immigrant, a senior citizen,” he said. “I have the right to ask a question.”

Trump interrupted him. “Go back to Univision,” he said. Then the billionaire businessman motioned to one of his bodyguards, who walked across the room and physically removed Ramos from the room.

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Pemex faces downgrade risk amid price pain

8/26/15 Financial Times

Pemex LogoAdding insult to the injury of renewed falls in oil prices, Mexico faces the prospect of a ratings downgrade at its national oil company, Pemex.

Moody’s said it had put Pemex’s A3 ratings, the same as Mexico’s sovereign rating, under revision for a possible downgrade because of weak cash generation and a deterioration in the company’s financial profile this year, reports Jude Webber in Mexico City. And, it added: “Moody’s opinion is that it will continue its deterioration in the coming years … and will have large debt needs in the near future”.

Ouch. The downgrade prospect touched a raw nerve at the company, which is already navigating a brave new world at home after been stripped of its nearly 80-year monopoly as Mexico liberalises its energy sector. Its financial debt increased in the second quarter by 16.4 per cent to $85.5bn and 75.5 per cent of its debt is denominated in dollars.

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Billionaire Tycoon Carlos Slim Actively Bidding In Mexico’s Historic Oil Auction

8/25/15 Forbes

carlos-slimWhen Mexico opened its oil and gas sectors to domestic and foreign private capital for the first time in nearly eight decades last year, it was widely expected that Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helú would play a leading role in the country’s new energy landscape. However, it was not until recently that this was confirmed: Slim’s companies have been quietly bidding in Mexico’s historic Round One oil auction.

According to Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), Carso Oil & Gas, an affiliate ofGrupo Carso , the conglomerate controlled by billionaire Slim, is participating in the second and third tenders of Round One for oil production contracts.

Carso Oil & Gas has enrolled in the second bidding of Round One for five shallow-water production-sharing contracts in nine Gulf of Mexico blocks. Bids are expected on September 30, 2015.

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The chief hit man of legendary drug kingpin Pablo Escobar says ‘El Chapo is a dead man’

8/25/15 Business Insider

ElChapoJhon Jairo Velásquez Vásquez, alias “Popeye,” is one of few surviving members of Pablo Escobar’s Medellin cartel. He served as the infamous drug kingpin’s head of assassins.

In an interview with the Mexican news magazine Proceso, Popeye, who is a year removed from a 23-year prison term, said Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán would not be captured, but killed, should authorities try to apprehend him again.

Though Popeye thinks El Chapo could be found through a joint effort between uncorrupted police and military forces, American agents, and cooperative criminal elements, he said it would not be “convenient” for the Mexican government or for El Chapo if the fugitive drug lord survived.

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