Mexico’s Alfa quarterly profit soars, boosted by petrochemicals

07/18/18 Reuters

A truck of the Mexican company Olympics bearing Mexican and U.S. flags approaches the border crossing into the U.S., in Laredo

Mexican conglomerate Alfa said on Wednesday that its net profit more than doubled in the second quarter compared to the year-earlier period, helped by a record quarter at its petrochemicals unit Alpek.

Alfa (ALFAA.MX), which has units in industries such as food packaging and car parts, said net profit was 3.59 billion pesos ($180 million) between April and June, compared to 1.37 billion pesos last year.

Revenue rose 19 percent to 93.7 billion pesos.

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Uber says it has invested $500 million in Mexico since 2013

07/18/18 Reuters

uber2Uber Technologies Inc said on Tuesday that it has invested more than $500 million in Mexico since it launched there in 2013, underscoring the country’s importance to the ride-hailing firm as it faces new competition.

The figure includes contributions to government-run mobility funds, “social responsibility” projects and unspecified security spending, it said.

As Uber confronts regulatory battles in Europe and heightened competition in Asia and the United States, Mexico, Latin America’s second-biggest economy, represents an opportunity for the company to establish a secure foothold in a major market.

But Uber has faced pressure to step up its game with the arrival of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing Technology Co, which launched operations in the central Mexican city of Toluca in April and has announced it is rolling out services to other cities.

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Japan auto parts supplier: Mexico expansion on hold pending NAFTA

07/10/18 Reuters

automobileJapanese auto components supplier Jtekt Corp said it was holding off on expanding production in Mexico, awaiting the outcome of talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA.

The auto industry has been plagued by uncertainty since U.S. President Donald Trump last year launched a renegotiation of NAFTA, seeking to repatriate manufacturing jobs to the United States. Jtekt President Tetsuo Agata said prospective automaker clients were waiting for the outcome of the talks before making new decisions on their Mexico operations.

“They are watching the NAFTA situation carefully. So we also have to hold off on new production plans,” he told reporters at its Nagoya headquarters. Jtekt is a Toyota group supplier which manufactures vehicle steering systems.

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Mexico’s same-store sales up 7.9 percent in June – ANTAD

07/10/18 Reuters

Customer buys a television set during the shopping season, "El Buen Fin", at a Walmart store, in the early hours of Friday, in Monterrey

Mexico’s retailers association said on Tuesday that sales at stores that had been open for at least a year increased by 7.9 percent in June compared to the same month last year.

Total sales in Mexico rose 11.2 percent from June 2017, the association said.

The retail group, known as ANTAD, includes chains such as Wal-Mart de Mexico and Soriana.

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Mexican broadcaster Televisa triples profit in Second quarter

07/09/2018 Reuters

televisaMexican broadcaster Televisa’s quarterly profit tripled, as the company sold off a valuable stake in a Spanish media firm and basked in a World Cup glow, the company reported on Monday.

Grupo Televisa (TLVACPO.MX), Mexico’s largest broadcaster by far, reported a net profit of 4.297 billion pesos ($216.22 million) in the second quarter, up from 1.419 billion pesos in the prior-year period. Net sales reached 26.7 billion pesos for the three-month period ending in June, compared with 22.976 billion pesos a year earlier.

The quarter included Televisa’s sale of a 19 percent stake in Spanish media group Imagina, the Mexican broadcaster said. The company has said it will seek to shed assets as it invests more in content and distribution.

Mexican banks warned to be on alert for cyber attacks

07/09/2018 Reuters

The Bank of Mexico logo is seen on the facade of an office building in downtown Mexico City

Mexico’s financial authorities on Friday warned local banks to be on alert for potential cyber attacks and to strengthen security systems, activating protocols established in the wake of recent bank hacks.

Mexico’s central bank, Finance Ministry and banking regulator said in a statement that the measure is preventative, and that the country’s financial system is functioning normally.

The statement did not detail the reason behind the alert.

Mexican authorities on Thursday had detected the threat of a potential cyber attack to occur the next day, said a financial official with knowledge of the matter who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the press.

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Mexico president-elect says fuel prices to start falling in three years

07/09/2018 Reuters

amlo monterreyMexico’s president-elect, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said on Monday that fuel prices would begin to come down in three years, once domestic fuel output starts to rise thanks to refinery improvements and a planned new refinery.

Lopez Obrador, who won by a landslide in the July 1 election and takes office on Dec. 1, said in a press conference after meeting with industry leaders that there would be no sharp rises in fuel prices during the first half of his six-year term, and that they would rise only in line with inflation.

“After three years, by which time we will have fuel production in Mexico – because we’re going to rehabilitate the six refineries and build one so we can stop buying fuel abroad – we will have lowered prices,” he said.

Lopez Obrador has long criticized a broad energy sector overhaul pushed through Congress by current President Enrique Pena Nieto, but has toned down attacks in recent months. Pena Nieto’s popularity suffered a big hit after a sharp fuel price rise in January 2017.

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