Mexico’s President Elect Reaches Out to Business Elite

11/15/2018 – New York Times

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has reached out to the country’s business elite, announcing the formation of a business advisory council including big names, especially in media.

Lopez Obrador said in a pre-recorded video circulated Thursday that he would meet with the council every couple months.

Lopez Obrador, who takes office Dec. 1, says Mexico needs the private sector’s support to generate jobs and grow the economy.

The leftist politician quickly moved to meet with business leaders to calm markets after his victory in July. Last month, Lopez Obrador roiled markets again by announcing the cancellation of the capital’s $13 billion airport project.

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AMLO’s New Guard Could Mean Even More Brain Drain at Pemex

11/13/2018 – Bloomberg

pexels-photo-87236.jpegBy Amy Stillman

On the day after Andrés Manuel López Obrador—nicknamed “AMLO”—was elected Mexico’s president, the streets outside the headquarters of Petróleos Mexicanos, the state-owned oil giant, were loud and rowdy in support. Inside the offices there was a morguelike quiet. Instead of shouting, there were whispers: “What are you going to do? Where are you going?”

Since 2015 a major restructuring of the company has trimmed Pemex’s workforce by about 16 percent, pushing many managers into retirement. It may now be facing a further brain drain even as the new president promises to boost oil production, say people familiar with the situation. Some managers and senior staff members have already left, the people say, and others are expected to follow.

Their fear is that they’ll be paid less to do more and that promotions will be stymied by outsiders selected to lead the company, the people say. López Obrador has already named Octavio Romero Oropeza, a political ally with no oil background, to lead Pemex and will help select a new board half-composed of government officials. While Pemex has more than 129,000 employees, the loss of talented senior staff and managers “could cause a lot of disruption and time wasted in learning and inefficiency, the No. 1 problem of the company today,” says Nymia Almeida, senior vice president and lead Pemex analyst for Moody’s Investors Service. When asked about the number of senior staff who’ve left since the election, Pemex said in a statement the information wasn’t available. A spokesman for López Obrador declined to comment.

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Mexico’s Pemex likely to launch McDermott offshore platform in April

11/2/2018 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s state-run Pemex is expected to start operating in April the largest offshore oil platform built in the country in a decade, which was constructed by McDermott International, an executive of the engineering firm said on Thursday.

Pemex is trying to reverse a 14-year crude output decline by boosting its offshore operations, especially in shallow waters along the southern Gulf of Mexico. Pemex has long been focused on the area, which is expected to see more activity from private producers that have won development rights there since 2015.

The new platform will replace a similar one that was damaged by a large fire in 2016 that killed three workers.

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Fuel Thieves Cause Mexico Supply Shortages for BP and Total, Sources Say

11/01/2018 – Bloomberg

pict.PNGBy Amy Stillman

BP Plc and Total SA are among international gasoline retailers that are facing a supply shortage in Mexico because of soaring fuel theft and weather issues.

At least seven terminals owned by state oil company Petroleos Mexicanoshave seen major fuel shortages since last week, said two people with direct knowledge of the situation. The shortfalls in Mexico City and the states of Mexico, Hidalgo and Queretaro have affected BP, Total and other retailers, and there is no indication of when supply will be back to normal, the people said.

A Pemex spokesman said the company’s storage terminals have enough inventories to satisfy normal demand and there is no fuel shortfall or scarcity. There have been some delays in the distribution of fuel because Pemex is giving priority to gas stations with lower inventories, resulting in delays for others, he said, asking not to be identified, citing Pemex’s internal policy.

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AMLO’s latest litmus test

10/26/2018 – Financial Times

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Financial Times/Citi’s Revilla

When Mexico’s incoming president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (a.k.a Amlo) clinched the presidency by a landslide election in July, the victory was met with cautious optimism. Few investors, or citizens for that matter, knew what to think about the former Mexico City head of government.

Some of his campaign promises seemed fantastical. For instance, he aims to balance the budget, while simultaneously increasing infrastructure spending, raising pensions and subsidising farmers. Oh yeah, and all without raising taxes.

Since Mr López Obrador does not take the political reins until December 1, it’s hard to know how many of his promises will come true. But this weekend, things could get a bit clearer.

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Mexico Deals With Storm Damage as Willa Weakens

10/24/2018 – Wall Street Journal

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Photo: Alfredo Estrella/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

MEXICO CITY—Willa weakened rapidly Wednesday to a tropical depression over Mexico as authorities worked to assess damage from a storm that hit the Pacific coast as a Category 3 hurricane.

There were no early reports of deaths caused by the storm, which made landfall Tuesday night at Isla del Bosque in Sinaloa state, about 50 miles southeast of the Pacific port of Mazatlán.

Sinaloa Governor Quirino Ordaz said there were no deaths in the state, but a significant amount of material damage in Escuinapa municipality, where the center of the storm hit.

“There are a lot of posts knocked down and fallen trees, there’s no electricity or drinking water service,” he told the Televisa network.

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President-elect Lopez Obrador slams Mexico’s Pemex for crude import plan

10/23/2018 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday criticized state-run Pemex’s plan to import U.S. light crude from refiner Phillips 66, calling it a sign of the country’s failed economic policies.

Pemex [PEMX.UL] is set to begin crude imports in November, for the first time in over a decade. It needs them to feed Mexico’s main refinery, which is working below capacity due to a lack of light oil.

The purchase of 1.4 million barrels of U.S. Bakken crude will follow a tender awarded earlier this week to Phillips 66. Up to 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude imports are planned for the last quarter of 2018.

“This announcement … is another example of the great failure of neo-liberal economic policies in the last 30 years,” Lopez Obrador said on Twitter.

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