Mexican Currency Traders Are More Worried About Amlo Than Trump

03/14/2018 Bloomberg

amloInvestors in Mexico’s currency are pricing in more tumult around this year’s presidential election than they anticipated before the 2016 U.S. vote that put Donald Trump in the White House.

The difference in price between short-term options and those that cover the period around the July 1 election is near a record high as investors pay up to protect themselves against volatility. The spread’s four-week moving average is now twice the level it was three months before the U.S. ballot.
The top contender in Mexico’s vote is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a left-leaning firebrand who some investors are concerned will seek to roll back efforts to open the economy, particularly the energy industry. While traders were equally worried about the potential effect of Trump’s pledges to slash imports from Mexico, his candidacy was viewed as somewhat of a long shot, reducing the demand for protection in the options market.

Mexican minister ramps up pressure for speedy NAFTA deal

03/15/2018 Reuters

fonsoMexico’s economy minister on Thursday urged officials to push for a speedy renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying his country and Canada must be ready to go it alone if the United States pulls out.

Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said if no deal to rework NAFTA could be struck by April 30, then the new political complexion of the region would cast doubt on how incoming lawmakers would view it in Mexico and the United States.

“The whole nature of the agreement would change,” Guajardo said at the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Sao Paulo. “You either get it done by the end of April or then it doesn’t matter: you can go until the end of the year.”

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U.S. Probes Mexico’s Cemex Over Payments Tied to Colombia Project

03/14/2018 The Wall Street Journal

CEMEXThe U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Mexico’s Cemex SA CX +0.97% B over payments made by the company related to a cement plant it is building in Colombia to determine whether they violated federal bribery laws.

Cemex, one of the world’s largest cement producers, said in a filing Monday that it had received a federal grand jury subpoena related to the Colombian project, located in the municipality of Maceo. Cemex represents 7.2% of Mexico’s benchmark IPC  index.

The company in late 2016 had previously disclosed a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the payments, seeking information to determine whether the payments had violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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After Defeating Cohn, Trump’s Trade Warrior Is on the Rise Again

03/08/2018 Bloomberg

digital economyPresident Donald Trump’s nationalist trade adviser Peter Navarro has staged a startling comeback.

Last year he nearly disappeared from view when his small operation was subsumed under the White House’s National Economic Council, which was headed by his rival, Gary Cohn, the free-trader who was president of Goldman Sachs. Now, Cohn’s on his way out while the steel and aluminum tariffs that Navarro advocates are on the verge of becoming national policy.
And he might even take over Cohn’s job. It “absolutely” could happen, said Harry Kazianis, a friend of Navarro who is director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest. “Trump’s going to look to Peter and say, ‘I know this guy. I can trust him.’”

Republicans ‘extremely worried’ by Trump’s metal tariffs plan

03/06/2018 BBC

Donald_Trump_August_19,_2015_(cropped)US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he was “extremely worried” about the impact of a trade war, adding that it could undermine economic gains.

But Mr Trump pushed back during a White House meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We’re not backing down,” he told reporters on Monday.

“I don’t think you’re going to have a trade war,” he said.

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Mexico’s Pemex seeking allies for deepwater blocks won in auction: CEO

03/05/2018 Reuters

pemexMexico’s state-run oil company Pemex plans to reach out to existing partners to form new joint ventures for a pair of deepwater blocks it won in a January auction, the company’s chief told Reuters on Monday.

Pemex is running out of time to find partners for key oil and gas projects as the government looks to show progress from its energy agenda ahead of a July presidential election. The oil company is relying on foreign capital to reverse declining output and refining amid an ambitious energy reform.

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Mexico supreme court says competitors can use America Movil’s network

02/22/2018 Reuters

The America Movil logo is seen at the reception area in the company's offices in Mexico City
The America Movil logo is seen on the wall of the reception area in the company’s corporate offices in Mexico City August 12, 2015. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Mexican mogul Carlos Slim’s America Movil must allow competitors to use its network and infrastructure, essentially holding up aspects of the 2014 telecoms reform.

The court said the obligation imposed by the reform on America Movil, Mexico’s largest telecommunications firm, to lend interconnection services to competitors does not violate its rights.

“Because the constitutional decree itself recognized that there are certain obligations that are imposed on the preponderant economic agent, which will expire once there are conditions of real competition in the market,” it said.

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