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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Slim’s America Movil extends Mexico-U.S. ‘borderless’ plan to prepay

8/16/2015 Yahoo! Finance

cell phones 2America Movil <AMXL.MX> said on Sunday it removed roaming charges on calls to and data in the United States for 40 million Mexican prepay clients as it gears up to prevent new rival AT&T Inc. stealing market share on its home turf.

The company, owned by the family of billionaire Carlos Slim, said calls made to the United States by prepaid customers on “Amigo Optimo” and “Optimo Plus” plans would now be charged local rates. The same would apply when using data in the United States.

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Infographic: World Bank Index Challenges Perceptions of Mexico’s Most Business-Friendly Cities

taxes accounting business3/25/2015 Nearshore Americas

The World Bank’s ranking of the easiest and most difficult cities to do business in Mexico may come as a surprise to investors.

The nation’s capital, Mexico City, is the most difficult place to do business, while the relatively unheralded western city of Colima is the easiest, according to the latest Doing Business index. There is further bad news for more of Mexico’s most mature markets: the World Bank rates Guadalajara, widely known as “Mexico’s Silicon Valley,” as the eighth most difficult place to do business, while Monterrey, which is often described as the nation’s business capital, is only ranked the 16th easiest city to do business in.

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Why Auto Makers Are Building New Factories in Mexico, not the U.S.

By Dudley Althaus and William Boston, Wall Street Journal, 3/17/2015

Audi-Q5CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.—A barren patch in the rugged hills along the Tennessee River is a sign of how Mexico has accelerated past the U.S. South in the global competition for auto investment.

The tract of cleared woodland lies alongside a factory Volkswagen AG set out to build in 2008. VW took an option on the adjacent 800 acres as a place where its Audi unit might build a North American plant someday.

But four years later, when Audi decided to move global production of its Q5 SUV to North America, the prize went to Mexico. Audi now is finishing a $1.3 billion factory in a gritty south-central Mexico town called San Jose Chiapa. The plant’s massive buildings rise like supertankers from dun-colored fields where families scrape by raising corn and beans.

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Mexican President Wraps Up UK Visit with $1bn Oil Deal

AFP, Business Insider, 3/5/2015

Pool/AFP Jonathan Brady
Pool/AFP Jonathan Brady

London (AFP) – Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto ended his three-day state visit to Britain on Thursday by overseeing the signing of deals that boost ties between the two countries in energy, including a $1 billion oil agreement.

Under the deal, Britain will provide Mexican energy firms with a $1 billion credit line (908 million euros) for buying British technology.

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Mexico president in crisis is losing support of big business

02/26/15 The Washington Post 

Bernardo Montoya/Reuters
Bernardo Montoya/Reuters

The full-page ad in Mexico’s national newspapers was unusual, if not unprecedented: 20 powerful business groups and think tanks publicly scolding the government for not doing its job. They demanded “conditions necessary to do their work … in total security, in all of the country.” The ad, published last month, called on President Enrique Pena Nieto to “honor your oath to observe and enforce the constitution.” The public criticism by Mexico’s business community underlines the eroding support for Pena Nieto’s administration as he enters the third year of a six-year term. Business leaders are angry over reforms that have increased the tax burden without sparking economic growth, scandals over apparent favoritism and acts of lawlessness that are hurting commerce.

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Mexico and Wal-Mart Launch Initiative to Improve Lives of Farmworkers

By Richard Marosi, 2/12/2015

Migrant farmworkersThe Mexican government and Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, have announced steps to improve the lives of the nation’s farmworkers, two months after a Los Angeles Times investigation detailed labor abuses at Mexican agribusinesses that supply major U.S. supermarket chains and restaurants.

Mexico’s secretary of agriculture, Enrique Martinez y Martinez, announced the creation Thursday of a “historic” alliance of produce industry groups that will focus on enforcing wage laws and improving housing, schools and healthcare for the more than 1 million laborers at export farms.

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