Texas Gov. Abbott to Visit Mexico to Mend Fences, Talk Trade Amid Strained Ties

8/25/2015 The Dallas Morning News

Greg_Abbott_by_Gage_SkidmoreGov. Greg Abbott is expected to visit Mexico City on Labor Day weekend, his first trip abroad as governor, and will lead a delegation of Texans eager to move forward amid turbulent times between once-solid neighbors, The Dallas Morning News has learned.

The agenda is still being fleshed out for the first trip to Mexico by a Texas governor since 2007, but people familiar with the matter say the visit is aimed at mending fences and underscoring the economic, cultural and political integration between Texas and its southern neighbor, an important trading partner.

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China ‘Black Monday’ And Latin America: Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico Among Economies Showing Anxiety After Stock Market Meltdown

8/24/15 International Business Times

5504964078_df874cacb5_zAs the plunge in Chinese stocks rattles global financial markets, Beijing’s economic slowdown is stoking fears of more dismal times to come for Latin America’s sluggish economies, many of which have come to rely increasingly on China as a financial lifeline. If the recent tumult in global financial markets is an indicator of deeper economic problems in China, that could have serious reverberations in Latin American countries in the months to come, analysts said.

Latin American stocks were not excluded from Monday’s massive selloff in financial markets that caused stocks to plunge to dramatic depths in Asia and Europe. Brazilian stocks fell Monday by more than 5 percent, with the benchmark Bovespa stock index dropping to a six-year low. Brazilian, Chilean, Colombian and Mexican currencies also have tumbled steeply in the past year amid trepidation over China’s economy.

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How Challenging Carlos Slim Is Helping Mexico Tame Inflation (And Why It May Not Last)

8/20/15 Bloomberg Business

Via Bloomberg Business
Via Bloomberg Business

Across Latin America the drop in commodity prices has sent currencies tumbling, spurring faster inflation. Everywhere, that is, except for Mexico. Mexican consumer prices rose 2.74 percent in July from the year earlier, the slowest pace in almost half a century and less than any other major economy in the region.

The last time inflation was this slow in Mexico was 1968, when the Vietnam War was at its height, the Beatles were in the charts with “Hey Jude” and the Soviet leadership was preparing to crush the Prague Spring.

So what makes Mexico different than its Latin American counterparts? Part of the answer lies with billionaire Carlos Slim. An overhaul of Mexico’s telecommunications industry has increased competition for Slim’s America Movil SAB and eliminated domestic long-distance charges for all carriers, slashing communication costs by 12.5 percent in the past year. That’s far more than in any other country in the four-member Pacific Alliance that also includes Colombia, Chile and Peru.

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Mexico and Colombia join ‘fragile five’ emerging markets

8/13/2015 Financial Times

120px-Philippine-stock-market-boardColombia and Mexico are now members of the “fragile five” group of emerging market nations, replacing India and Brazil, according to analysis by JPMorgan Asset Management.

The Latin American duo, alongside Turkey, South Africa and Indonesia, are seen as the countries most overdependent on potentially skittish foreign investment flows.

The original “fragile five” were worst hit during the taper tantrum of 2013, when foreign investors fled emerging markets. The vulnerability of four of the five (South Africa, Turkey, India and Indonesia, but not Brazil) had been identified by JPMAM before the sell off.

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A Mexican Standoff: Banxico vs. The Fed

8/6/15 Forbes
5504964078_df874cacb5_zBanxico, the Mexican central bank, is widely expected to raise interest rates alongside the Federal Reserve in the upcoming hiking cycle to avoid further weakness in the Peso (MXN).  There was even speculation that Banxico would preemptively hike during last week’s policy meeting. Policymakers ended up keep rates unchanged at an all-time low of 3.0%, but the central bank did take steps to buoy MXN.

The central bank increased the amount of dollars to be auctioned daily from $52 million to $200 million. They also reduced the amount MXN has to weaken for the central bank to sell an additional $200 million from 1.5% to 1%. MXN reacted immediately to the announcement, jumping 1.2% against USD, which is a notable move for the world’s most traded EM currency.

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U.S. Natural Gas Exports to Mexico Taking Off

08/03/15 Forbes

Export Or Import DirectionsJust as Space X rockets may be taking off from the beaches at Boca Chica near Brownsville, natural gas exports to Mexico look to also sky rocket in the coming years. Due to changes in Mexican law in 2013 opening the electricity market to private investment, billions of dollars in contracts have been let to build power plants, electrical distribution facilities and natural gas pipelines. In turn U.S. pipeline companies and gas producers have moved to capture the lion’s share of that market. Given the fact that Texas and Gulf Coast producers have been rapidly losing their old Northeast and Midwest markets to Marcellus producers this has proven to be a timely and vital new market. The Energy Information Agency (EIA) estimates that natural gas exports to Mexico were 3% of production in April 2015 and are expected to grow to 5% by 2030.

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Mexico delays auction of deepwater oil assets

07/30/15 Financial Times

gas pipeline in green fieldMexico has delayed the auction for its prized deepwater oil assets and sweetened bid terms after its inaugural tender to open its oil sector to private investors flopped two weeks ago.

The call for bids in deepwater fields and subsequent opening of data rooms had been delayed by two months and was now likely to occur at the end of September, Joaquin Coldwell, energy minister, told local television channel Foro TV on Tuesday night.

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