Nomura Securities in New York recently conducted a survey of its clients regarding the future of Mexico. We have elections next summer, a Donald Trump presidency that promises to deliver some sort of blow to NAFTA, and a peso that will surely be volatile because of them both. Survey respondents ran the gambit from Wall Street hedge funds to Mexican investment firms, but all in all there were no major discrepancies between the view points. It’s not like Mexican investors see the peso going to 15 and American ones see it going to 25.
Among the 87 survey participants, a little more than one-third came from banks, one-fourth came from real money accounts and almost 20% were from hedge funds. Of the responses, 40% came from Mexico and 40% were from the U.S.
In short, if populist leader Andres Manuel Lopez “Amlo” Obrador — the former Mexico City governor — wins the election in July 2018, the peso will fall, but not collapse. If Trump does not kill NAFTA (which is now market consensus), the peso heads to 18. If it’s a bad trade deal for Mexico, it goes back over 20. And if there is a border adjustment tax, also unlikely, the peso goes over 21. A sell-off in Mexico’s bond markets by foreigners would be triggered by either a negative (for Mexico) trade deal with the U.S. or an Amlo win.