OHL Mexico Fined Over Accounting Practices

3/29/16 The Wall Street Journal 

MEXICO CITY—Mexico’s financial watchdog slapped close to $3.5 million in fines on toll-road operator OHL Mexico SAB and two of its units over accounting practices that boosted its income and asset valuations.

OHL Mexico, a unit of Spain’s Obrascón Huarte Lain SA, said in a news release Monday that Mexico’s Banking and Securities Commission also ordered it to submit a restatement proposal as part of its probe into the company’s alleged accounting irregularities.

The investigation focused on OHL’s claim that its contract with the State of Mexico for a major toll road it operates outside Mexico City allows the company to earn a guaranteed 10% annual profit above inflation via toll increases and other measures.

OHL has said the state is liable for the guaranteed profit even if OHL doesn’t recover those funds during the life of the contract, an interpretation that Mexico’s financial watchdog disputes.

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