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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UPDATE 2-Mexico inflation touches new record low in early July

7/23/15 Reuters

Data from INEGI
Data from INEGI

Mexico’s annual inflation rate cooled in early July to a record low, official data showed on Thursday, giving policymakers room to hold interest rates low until an expected increase in U.S. borrowing costs.

The national statistics institute said inflation in the 12 months through mid-July eased to 2.76 percent from 2.87 percent in June. A poll of analysts by Reuters had forecast the rate would be unchanged.

Most of Mexico’s central bankers think inflation will remain below their 3 percent target for the rest of the year because of the sluggish economy.

Despite tame inflation and weak growth, Mexico is seen raising interest rates when U.S. borrowing costs move higher.

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Mexico’s homicide rate continued to drop in 2014

7/21/15 El Daily Post

Tcrime scenehere were 19,699 registered homicides in Mexico last year, 16 for every 100,000 residents.

That’s 16 percent fewer than the year before, when 19 homicides per 100,000 were registered. These figures, published this week by the National Statistics Institute (INEGI), are crunched from Civil Registry data and from information supplied by local prosecutors across the nation. Homicide-rate measured per 100,000 population is an international indicator used by the United Nations, as well as by INEGI since 1990. In Mexico’s case, they confirm that through 2014 at least, Mexico’s murder rate has been dropping since 2011. In raw numbers, the 19,699 registered homicides  in 2014 were 7,544 fewer than in 2011, 6,298 fewer than 2012 and 3,394 fewer than 2013.

The first two full years of the Peña Nieto administration (2013-14) registered, according to INEGI, 10,448 homicides fewer than what was registered in the last two years of his predecessor, Felipe Calderón.

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Mexico’s Energy Reform: A Look From Inside the Learning Curve

7/21/15 Texas Lawyer

energy -wind_energyThe opening process of Mexico’s energy sector has been well documented. Local and foreign media have extensively reported on how a country that had been closed to private oil and gas investment for close to 76 years, has, in the span of only 18 months, reformed its Constitution, passed implementing regulations, created and strengthened new and existing regulatory bodies, conducted a Round Zero process with its state-owned oil company (Pemex), begun three public bid processes and awarded the first two production sharing agreements in its history.

However, this fast-moving train (in many ways politically fueled) is now facing its most serious challenge to date: attracting oil and gas companies to invest in Mexico. Recent developments in the opening process have shown once again that the oil and gas industry continues to run deep in Mexico’s political, social and economic life and that the country cannot afford a long and prolonged learning curve.
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Mexico’s economy heading for further slowdown in Q2

7/20/15 EconoTimes

asian currencyMexico’s industrial production in May was -0.94% yoy, which is first negatice growth rate in 13 months. As a result and given the strong correlation between monthly supply-side proxy of growth and industrial production, Societe Generale estimates growth to have slowed substantially to 0.5% yoy in May – the weakest pace since April 2014.

According to Societe Generale, “The seasonally-adjusted series is expected to show a sequential decline of 0.9% mom and, barring a strong improvement in June, the economy looks set to slow further in Q2 after posting weak growth of 1.6% qoq (annualised ). What it also implies is that the economy could grow below trend in 2015 – presenting downside risk to our current forecast of 2.6% – unless it shows sharp improvement in H2 something we do not rule out for now.”

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Mexico deploys thousands to hunt down Joaquin Guzman

07/17/15 BBC

Photo by Flickr user Thraxil
Photo by Flickr user Thraxil

Mexico says it has stepped up its search for drug lord Joaquin Guzman, who escaped from jail on Saturday. The Interior Ministry said it had deployed almost 10,000 police and 48 dogs to track down the fugitive leader of the Sinaloa cartel. Mexico is also co-operating with neighboring Guatemala and the United States to increase border controls. Guzman’s escape from a top-security jail through a 1.5km-long tunnel is a major embarrassment for officials. It is the second time the drug cartel leader has escaped from a top-security Mexican jail.

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Mexico Awards First Oil Blocks in Historic Auction

07/16/15 Wall Street Journal

oil rigsMEXICO CITY—The Mexican government’s initial auction to open the oil and gas industry to private and foreign investment for the first time in almost eight decades came up short of expectations Wednesday, with successful bids made for just two of the 14 blocks tendered.

Nine companies participated in the auction. Seven companies submitted bids for one or more of the blocks in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Numerous blocks received no offers, and others had bids that were below the minimum requirement for profit-sharing with the government.

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