Is Mexico City Turning Into New York City?

5/31/2016 Forbes

Mexico CityOn the tenth floor patio of his apartment building on Avenida Chapultepec in downtown Mexico City, 35-year-old architect Fernando Madrid leans out over the railing and looks out at the newly built skyscrapers jutting up from the street a few blocks away. The mid-day traffic clogs Chapultepec Ave, one of the main roads that cuts through Mexico City’s center, and a light haze hangs over the urban periphery. Voters in the district have rejected a plan to turn the space between the lanes into a multi-use park and shopping mall, a Mexican version of New York City’s skyline. But despite the no-vote on the project opponents dubbed “Shopultepec” Madrid does think that Mexico City is becoming increasingly like New York. Looking down at the sidewalk below as pedestrians walk past a rack of public bicycles and two police officers on a motorcycle pull up at the intersection next to a late model pink and white taxicab Madrid explains, “The city has grown a lot in the last fifteen years. The Torre America Latina used to be one of the only skyscrapers here but with the economic development the city has had now there are a lot of buildings that are bigger.” Madrid says that he thinks that the new office district along Reforma Avenue in Mexico City’s center is the Mexican version of Wall Street. There has also been a lot of development a few miles up the road in the Santa Fe district. “That [area] is maybe the equivalent of mid-town [Manhattan],” he says.

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Mexico’s Silver King Rides Metals Rebound to $1.3 Billion Gain

5/31/2016 Bloomberg

Gold_BarsMetals magnate Alberto Bailleres is posting the biggest gains among Latin America’s wealthiest people thanks to a comeback in silver and gold prices.

Mexico’s second-richest man has added $1.3 billion to his net worth this year, buoyed by a surge at Industrias Penoles SAB and Fresnillo Plc, owner of the world’s largest silver mine. The 14 percent gain in the Bailleres fortune represents the biggest increase among the 10 richest people in Latin America.

Silver and gold are reversing three straight years of declines as investors ratchet back wagers on higher U.S. borrowing costs and seek out safe havens. The silver price is getting an additional boost from forecasts that supply will fall as demand rises for industrial applications in solar panels, mobile phones and flat-screen televisions.

Bank of Mexico Sticks to 2016 Growth Outlook, Trims 2017 Forecast

5/26/16 Wall Street Journal 

Agustin_Carstens

MEXICO CITY—The Bank of Mexico said Wednesday that it still expects the country’s economy to grow between 2% and 3% this year, but lowered its growth forecast slightly for 2017.

In its quarterly inflation report, the central bank forecast gross domestic product would expand between 2.3% and 3.3% in 2017, less than its previous estimate of 2.5% to 3.5%. The economy grew 2.5% in 2015 and expanded 2.6% in the first quarter of this year.

The main reason for the 2017 change is the lower outlook for U.S. industrial production, which is a driver of Mexican output, Bank of Mexico Gov. Agustín Carstens said at a news conference.

Growth could be better if private consumption in Mexico continues to gain strength, or the economy sees favorable effects from overhauls in areas such as energy, telecommunications and the financial sector. On the other hand, a slowdown in the global economy, and particularly the U.S., and more complex international financial conditions restricting investment could lead to lower growth than expected, the bank said.

The central bank still expects the inflation rate, currently at 2.5%, to remain below its 3% target in coming months, possibly rising temporarily above that level toward the end of the year.

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Mexico’s Arca Continental to Bottle, Distribute Coca-Cola in Southwest U.S.

5/26/16 Wall Street Journal 

14716049305_62495b73a5_bCoca-Cola Co. said Wednesday it plans to transfer its soda manufacturing and distribution in Texas and parts of Oklahoma to a joint venture headed by Mexico’s Arca Continental SAB.

The letter of intent with Arca, Coke’s second-largest bottler in Latin America, comes as Atlanta-based Coke accelerates efforts to divest plants and trucks in order to focus on marketing and its more profitable concentrate business.

Arca is the first Mexican bottler to acquire Coke territory in the U.S. but not the first foreign partner. Hong Kong-based Swire Pacific Ltd. is a major Coke bottler and distributor in the Western U.S. and Japan’s Kirin Holdings Co. owns a Coke bottler in the Northeast.

Coke said in February it would sell all of its U.S. manufacturing and distribution by the end of 2017, part of a broader global divestment drive. It paid $12.3 billion in 2010 to acquire the U.S. territories of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., its biggest domestic bottler at the time.

With the latest deal, Coke said it has struck deals to refranchise territories representing about 60% of bottler-delivered volume and 41 of 51 cold-fill production plants in the U.S.  Coke still owns bottling and distribution in California and parts of the Northeast, in addition to other territories.

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Building Borders That Foster Security And Prosperity In North America

5/24/2016 Forbes

san-ysidro-border-crossing-by-flickr-user-otzbergBy Earl Anthony Wayne and Christopher Wilson

Canada, Mexico and the United States are collaborating to enhance security and foster prosperity at North America’s borders, while respecting each nation’s sovereignty.  Prime Minister Trudeau, President Peña Nieto and President Obama can give this effort a big boost when they meet for the North American Leaders Summit (NALS) on June 29 in Canada.  Given the contentious nature of the public and political debates about border security right now, it will be especially important for the leaders to articulate clearly what it means to build twenty-first century borders that are smart, effective, and meet both the security and competitiveness needs of North America. They should also bless a strong, substantive work agenda to make those objectives reality.

The three countries trade some $3.6 billion in goods and services each day.  Over a million citizens of the three nations cross the borders as part of their daily routine.  Border management tasks are enormous.  But, officials, the private sector and the many states, provinces and cities that benefit from border trade and travel see the tremendous value of a North America in which borders are places of connection and cooperation at least as much as division.  Around our borders, the three governments fight illicit activity; help our economies by facilitating legal trade and transit; and work to protect all three societies from threats ranging from terrorism to invasive species and diseases.

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Mexico FDI rises to record high in first quarter

5/25/16 Reuters

mexico-statesMay 23 Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico rose 4.3 percent to $7.896 billion, the Economy Ministry said on Monday, adding that it was a record high for the first quarter.

The increase in FDI, which was above the $7.5 billion in last year’s first quarter, includes $2 billion that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries paid to acquire Rimsa, a Mexican pharmaceutical firm. Teva struck the deal in October.

The United States accounted for about 29 percent of the country’s total FDI in the first quarter, followed by Israel, Spain, Germany and South Korea. (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov)

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AT&T (T) to Launch Roaming Plans in Canada and Mexico

5/19/16 Nasdaq

NASDAQ_studioU.S. telecom behemoth AT&T, Inc. recently announced plans of launching new bundled roaming options in Canada and Mexico, effective May 20.

Notably, customers switching to the carrier’s new Mobile Share Value 15 GB and superior plans will be able to avail of unlimited calls, text messaging and data allowance in Mexico as well as between the country and the U.S.

Moreover, new and existing customers on the AT&T Unlimited Plan can make use of voice, messaging and data in Canada, U.S. and Mexico by activating the AT&T Roam North America and Roam North America Data plans on their smartphones and tablets, respectively.

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