Almost like Pavlov’s dogs, journalists and business commentators covering Carlos Slim only have to mention the name before they find themselves following it with the phrase “the world’s richest man”. But as of this week, the Slim watchers out there are going to have to resist their conditioned response.
On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the Mexican telecoms tycoon had been toppled from the number-one spot on the news agency’s all-time rich list. And guess who’s back in front….yep, it’s Bill Gates. Continue reading »
Japanese carmakers have been pouring money into Mexico in recent years.
Squeezed by higher production costs as a result of the weak yen, many have set up production lines in Mexico, lured by the country’s inexpensive labour and easy access to the key North American market.
In fact, so modern and cost-effective are their Mexican operations that General Motors, the leading US carmarker, this week tapped Nissan to help it build small cargo vans to sell in the US and Canada. Continue reading »
Last week, Humberto Benítez, Mexico’s attorney-general for consumer protection, told the press that the thought of handing in his resignation “never even crossed my mind”. On Wednesday, Benítez was clearing out his desk, the latest symbol of a more transparent, and more accountable country. Continue reading »
The shape of pharmacies to come?
Mexico’s revamped retail industry has seen its greatest transformation at the level of mom-and-pop stores: where disorganized, dingy and poorly-supplied grocery stores were once common in metropolitan areas, there are now brightly-lit, well-stocked and strategically located convenience stores.
Now another retail segment faces a similar revolution: pharmacies. And the company likely to lead this turmoil is, again, Fomento Económico Mexicano, or Femsa. Continue reading »
Mexico on Friday posted its worst monthly industrial production figures since the 2009 recession brought on by the US financial crisis.
The figure shrank 0.3 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms compared with February, and by a spine-chilling 4.9 per cent compared with the same month of 2012. Analysts had expected the March number to fall a far more modest 1.4 per cent. Continue reading »
The newest figures from the Mexican auto industry association, AMIA, point to continued powerful growth not only from the car makers themselves but from associated industries.
Mexico has almost doubled car production since 2009, and will be producing 4m cars by 2017, up from 2.9m last year, AMIA reckons, thanks to new investments from Nissan, Audi, Mazda and Honda. Continue reading »
So, Roberto Azevêdo, Brazil’s candidate for director general of the WTO, has pipped his rival Herminio Blanco of Mexico for the job.
But there is still a question to be answered: Who won? The man or the country? Continue reading »
The auto industry’s love affair with Mexico seems to know no bounds these days.
Just days after Japan’s Honda announced the creation of a $470m transmission plant in the country, it was the turn of Audi to laid the foundation stone for a $1.3bn assembly plant in Mexico over the weekend.
Aimed at challenging BMW’s global leadership of the international luxury SUV market, the new factory is expected to come on stream in 2016, building 150,000 Q5 SUVs a year. Continue reading »
The central Mexican region known as El Bajío is known as the nation’s colonial heartland, its grain belt and a hotbed of fervent Catholicism. Now Japanese auto production can be added to the list.
While Barack Obama and the Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto were talking in Mexico City about jobs, Honda was announcing the creation of 1,500 of them in an $470m transmission plant to be built in Celaya in El Bajío. Continue reading »
On Thursday, as he greeted the press in the company of US President Barack Obama, Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico characterised the bilateral relationship as having reached “a new level of understanding”.
That is probably an exaggeration. But several important things may have come from Obama’s visit to Mexico City, the first to Mexico since his re-election. Continue reading »
Spain’s economic crisis is writ large in the Inter-American Development Bank’s latest statistics on remittance flows to Latin America.
For years, thousands of Bolivians, Ecuadoreans and Colombians have been among those to seek work in Spain, legally or illegally. Whether young educated professionals, or poor maids, cleaners and construction labourers, these workers could see the advantages of saving Euros that would magically multiply back home into pesos or dollars or bolivianos. Continue reading »
It’s not quite a done deal yet. But it’s getting there.
Mexico’s Congress on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in support of a sweeping reform bill that could break open the country’s telecommunications and broadcasting sectors and introduce more competition in the two tightly-held markets.
But while the Senate voted 108-3 to approve the bill (which has already been passed by the lower house), a number of constitutional changes included in the reform package still need to be approved by two-thirds of Mexico’s 31 state legislatures before it can become law. Continue reading »
Spain’s two leading lenders, Banco Santander and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, have long looked to Latin America for growth – and more recently to repair troubled balance sheets at home.
But while Santander has hitched its fortunes on Brazil — now its biggest market, accounting for 26 per cent of group profits last year — BBVA has focused on building up its operations in Mexico. Just last month it announced plans to funnel $3.5bn into its Mexico business over the next three years, and the country last year accounted for more than one-third of its global profits. Continue reading »