Mexico’s Slim to fix collapsed metro line at no cost within a year


Source: Reuters

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s construction firm will repair a collapsed Mexico City metro line at no cost to the government so that it can re-open in a year, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday.

The accident last month on an elevated stretch of the busy Line 12, which was built by Slim’s Grupo Carso, killed 26 people. Lopez Obrador said Slim told him in a meeting on Tuesday that he would cover the entire cost of rebuilding.


Mexico Auctions Seized Jewelry to Fund Road Building

7/28/19 – AP

By Amy Guthrie


A white gold bracelet adorned with crocodiles and encrusted with 1,331 diamonds glittered from a display case, not far from a yellow gold pendant in the shape of a bullet covered in 450 tiny black diamonds. Those were just two of 2,000 pieces of jewelry seized from criminals and tax cheats that the Mexican government put to auction Sunday.

The sale offered a glimpse into the eccentric tastes of Mexico’s criminal underworld, while reinforcing a perception among the new government’s supporters that it is more transparent and humble.

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Mexican Voters Love Their President, But Investors Are Wary

3/7/2019 – Bloomberg


By Nacha Cattan

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO as he’s known, is doing spectacularly well with voters 100 days into his term. The latest survey pegs his approval rating at 78 percent, a record for the first trimester of a presidential term since polling began in the 1980s.

But just as his popularity is soaring, market sentiment is souring, widening a divide between investors and the president’s base. The clearest sign of this is a substantial markdown in growth forecasts by Wall Street analysts. In a poll of institutional investors commissioned by Credit Suisse Group AG in February, three-quarters said the current economic situation was worse or much worse than a year ago.

In contrast, the majority of Mexicans see a president who’s delivering on his campaign pledges to fight crime, raise living standards, and reduce inequality. Since taking office on Dec. 1, his administration has launched welfare programs for the elderly and disadvantaged youth, abolished cushy retirement pensions for former presidents, and cracked down on gangs of gasoline thieves whose appetite for destruction rivals those of Mexico’s infamous drug cartels. The social-media-adept president touts his government’s achievements in daily press conferences watched by hundreds of thousands on YouTube.

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Spain’s OHL Hits a Pothole in Mexico

12/9/2015 Wall Street Journal

TOLUCRoad - highway interchangeA, Mexico—The Mexican unit of Spanish construction giant Obrascón Huarte Laín SA is grappling with questions about its accounting and ties to the administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

At the center of both are a series of lucrative contracts that OHL de Mexico SAB won or which were extended under Mr. Peña Nieto’s term as governor of the State of Mexico between 2005 and 2011.

The contracts include building and operating a toll road outside Mexico City whose estimated cost has soared to about $3.6 billion. Critics say it could become Mexico’s most expensive highway.

Mexican securities regulators in October alleged the firm applied improper accounting practices related to the toll road that boosted income and asset valuations. The parent company in Madrid has denied wrongdoing and said its accounting was approved by auditors and Spanish financial regulators.

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No One Can Afford to Take on Slim for $13 Billion Mexico Airport

11/19/2015 Bloomberg

Carlos Slim
Carlos Slim

Mexico’s largest infrastructure companies have waited more than two years to get a piece of the capital’s new $13 billion airport project. Now as bids get under way, most are in poor position to compete. Enter billionaire Carlos Slim.

Slim’s Grupo Carso SAB has the global reputation and healthy finances to win contracts over competitors including Empresas ICA SAB and OHL Mexico SAB’s parent company, according to Mexico City-based Vector Casa de Bolsa and consultant Boyd Group International.

Rushing to meet a 2020 deadline to open a Mexico City facility that’s already behind schedule, tenders for major work such as terminal construction are set to start in coming weeks. That’s bad timing for ICA, saddled with ballooning debt amid concern that it may need to restructure liabilities, and OHL, the target of a regulatory review that found alleged accounting violations.

BRICS Nations Continue International Economic Collaboration


800px-Puerto_ColombiaThe nations of the BRICS group continue to extend the hand of economic collaboration around the world; here we highlight a couple of developments over the weekend from China and India. Chinese construction, rail, and related companies are investing in key projects in what is being called Mexico’s Economic Corridor of the North, involving the states of Nayarit on the Pacific coast and Chihuahua which borders the U.S.


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Mexico Seeks Bids for Bullet Train

08/15/14 The Wall Street Journal

Photo by Heraldicos
Photo by Heraldicos

The Mexican government on Friday launched a bidding process for the construction of a passenger railway to connect Mexico City with the central city of Querétaro, as it seeks to return interstate rail travel to the country for the first time in decades.

The bullet train, which is expected to require investment in excess of $3 billion and go into operation in late 2017, is one of several passenger railways proposed by the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

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Hyflux Enters Latin America With Mexico’s Interacciones

06/25/14 Bloomberg

DSCN1324Hyflux Ltd. (HYF)Singapore’s largest water company by market value, will make its first foray into Latin America in an agreement with Banco Interacciones SA to explore water and infrastructure projects in Mexico.

The country offers opportunities for expansion because of its water modernization and infrastructure plans, Hyflux Chief Executive Officer Olivia Lum said in Singapore today after signing the accord with the Mexican bank.

“It’s very important for us to enter a country where there is political will for water rights,” Lum said. “Mexico can provide us with very immediate water opportunities and it has a committed program in water infrastructure in place.”

Mexico is planning more than 200 federal and municipal water projects in a five-year plan to secure supplies, said Banco Interacciones CEO Gerardo Salazar Viezca. Each project could cost $10 million to $150 million, he said.

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Energy Reform Approved, Border Infrastructure Spending, and Biden “Guarantees” Immigration Reform – Weekly News Summary: December 13

coffee-by-flikr-user-samrevel1The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English language press had to say…

This week’s news outlets centered in the Energy Reform approved by both the Mexican Senate and Chamber of Deputies. As expected, the law includes measures to open the oil and gas industry to private and foreign investment, through cash, profit-sharing and production contracts. What is new however, as a Forbes article explains, is the legal entity of the “license”. Although the legislation still explicitly prohibits the use of concessions in the hydrocarbons sector, the license will act in a very similar way, with the idea that it will be applied to unconventional projects like shale. The Economist noted that, as a consequence of the Reform, financial markets reacted with a burst of enthusiasm absent for most of the year, although it also claimed that the potential benefit from the reform will depend on the strength of secondary legislation that will specify what contracts will be offered for which type of oil or gas field, and what royalties and taxes the government will take. Finally, The Global Post noted that there were still political hurdles to overcome and that it will take a while before Mexico finally sees the investments and technology it needs to improve capacity and modernize Pemex.

On another topic, several news outlets highlighted stories concerning border issues. KPBS noted that U.S. and Mexico officials joined together on Tuesday in San Diego to signal construction crews to begin work on a $700 million border infrastructure project. The goal of the new freeway, and eventually a new port of entry, is to increase the $54 billion worth of goods that move across the Tijuana – San Diego Region by cutting border wait times that exceed two hours. The New York Times published a story describing how, even when agents do their jobs professionally and well, current immigration policy fosters insanity and menace in the Southern Border. It argues that when migrants have no hope of visas, the Border Patrol’s job is made harder while the drug lords get richer. On another note,  the San Diego Union Tribune published a piece stating that the unprecedented spending of the U.S. government on border security has led to a nearly nonstop stream of reports, audits and studies criticizing how some of that money has been spent. Customs and Border Protection has acknowledged errors but also insists the unprecedented boost in spending has made the border far more secure.

Continue reading “Energy Reform Approved, Border Infrastructure Spending, and Biden “Guarantees” Immigration Reform – Weekly News Summary: December 13”

Mexico Sees Economic-Growth Boost From 2014 Budget

The Wall Street Journal, 11/14/2013

luis videgarayIn response to the economic slowdown this year, when gross domestic product is expected to grow just 1.2%, the Congress approved a fiscal deficit for next year equivalent to 3.5% of gross domestic product. This includes financed investment at state oil monopoly Petróleos Mexicanos for 2% of GDP. This year’s deficit is expected to be around 2.4% of GDP.

The infrastructure budget includes significant amounts for roads, ports, railways and water projects, as the government aims to give a boost to the struggling construction sector. Funds have also been earmarked for reconstruction, particularly in the southern state of Guerrero, which was hit hard by tropical storm Manuel in September.

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