Mexico Court Ruling to Shine Light on Executive Wrongdoings

05/23/2018 The New York Times

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MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Supreme Court has struck a blow to those who would like to bury news about alleged wrongdoing by executives and others punished for breaking securities laws, a step toward more transparency in the corporate world.

For years, accused violators of securities and banking laws in Mexico could hide behind lengthy appeals, during which regulators were barred from commenting on charges and investors were left in the dark about crimes such as insider trading.

But in a little noticed decision in February, the Supreme Court backed new powers given to the banking and securities regulator CNBV in 2014 to name violators.

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Mexico warns on business with blacklisted Venezuelan entities

05/23/2018 Reuters

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico financial authorities on Wednesday warned locally regulated companies of the risks of making deals with blacklisted people or entities connected to the Venezuelan government.

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Mexico’s GDP Rises in First Quarter Amid Robust Service Sector

05/23/2018 Bloomberg

arrow-1792515_1920.pngMexico’s gross domestic product rose in line with the preliminary estimate in the first quarter as the service sector grew steadily.

Mexico’s economy is expected to grow slightly faster this year than in 2017 as the nation gears up for a general election in July, which has historically driven up government spending and other economic activity. Yet analysts are now expecting the next central bank move to be an interest rate hike, whereas a month ago they predicted a cut, as the peso takes a hit amid missed deadlines for a Nafta deal and as it becomes more likely leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador could win the presidential race July 1.

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Nafta Talks Stalled on U.S. Auto Demands

05/23/2018 The Wall Street Journal

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Talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement have reached a stalemate, with Mexico and the U.S. accusing one another of intransigence and inconsistency after missing a key deadline.

The most troublesome points remain the rules governing auto production and the so-called America First provisions that President Donald Trump wants in any new deal, in a bid to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. These include removing the international arbitration panels that currently resolve commercial disputes and creating a sunset clause that would terminate the deal every five years. Both Mexico and Canada have described those measures as unacceptable.

Some people familiar with the talks say the U.S. is trying to bully Mexico into accepting a deal centered on autos—referred to by some in Congress as a “Skinny Nafta” deal—without making any concessions on the other issues.

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Mexico Drillers Sign First Farm-Out Deal Without State Oil Giant

05/22/2018 Bloomberg

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Two upstart Mexican drillers have signed the first farm-out deal in Mexico’s oil sector that doesn’t include state company Petroleos Mexicanos.

Jaguar Exploracion y Produccion agreed to sell a 50 percent stake of three onshore areas in Tabasco and Veracruz to Vista Oil & Gas for $37.5 million, plus contingency payments if oil prices rise above $65 a barrel in the next two years. Vista, Mexico’s first listed crude producer following a $650 million share sale last year, will pay and operate two of the areas that are already in production, while Jaguar will remain the operator of the third exploratory block.

The deal will help Vista “position ourselves in Mexico,” said Chief Executive Officer Miguel Galuccio, former head of Ypf SA and the architect of Argentina’s shale boom. The areas Vista will operate in Tabasco are already known to Galuccio from his prior experience as a Schlumberger executive, he said. “These areas have a lot of potential. This year we are going to conduct a lot of studies, and next year we will drill eight wells.”

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Protesters Shut Down Commercial Bridge Linking Mexico, Texas

05/21/2018 New York Times

laredoCIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico — At least 200 demonstrators blocked a major commercial bridge between Mexico and Texas on Monday to protest the disappearance of dozens of people in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, snarling traffic in both directions into the night.

The protest began around 9:30 a.m. at the bridge, which is used exclusively by cargo trucks traveling between Tamaulipas state and Laredo, Texas, and was still going late Monday.

Thousands of trucks make the crossing each day, and long lines of tractor-trailers backed up along the highway.

Demonstrators were protesting what they consider a weak response by authorities to 43 complaints filed with prosecutors over disappearances in Nuevo Laredo.

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Gang Gunmen Wound Mexican Official, 7 Others in Guadalajara

05/22/2018 New York Times

gun - crime sceneMEXICO CITY — Authorities in Mexico’s second biggest city say gunmen for an organized crime gang tried to kill a state official, wounding him, three police officers and four civilians.

Jalisco state Gov. Aristoteles Sandoval said Monday the attack in the center of Guadalajara was aimed at Luis Carlos Najera, the state labor secretary who previously served three decades as a police officer and state prosecutor. He said Najera suffered a hand wound.

Sandoval said police captured six suspects and recovered “a large arsenal” of weapons. He said those detained claimed to belong to an elite group for a crime organization operating in Jalisco.

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