It wasn’t just currency traders watching the Mexican peso in 2015 as it tumbled to a record. The biggest gains and losses on the stock market were also driven by the currency’s slide.
Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico, the airport operator known as GAP that serves cities including Puerto Vallarta, led advances on the benchmark index with a 66 percent gain as U.S. travelers flocked to the Latin American nation to take advantage of a strong dollar.
Meanwhile the peso’s worst year in eight pushed builder Empresas ICA, which had debt in dollars and revenue primarily from domestic projects, to default on $1.35 billion in bonds as its shares tumbled 80 percent. The IPC index lost 0.3 percent in 2015.
The peso slid 15 percent in 2015 as falling crude prices damped investment in the energy industry and expectations for U.S. interest-rate increases boosted demand for greenbacks. Even as constitutional changes to open the oil and telecommunications industries prompted more competition and helped fuel a region-leading seven initial public offerings this year, the currency’s plunge dominated the performance of many shares on the exchange.
“It had a direct impact on the winners and losers this year,” Aldo Miranda, an equity sales trader at CI Casa de Bolsa, said in a telephone interview from Mexico City.
BBC – A court in Mexico has charged the former mayor of Cocula, Cesar Penaloza Santana, with links to organized crime. The government said corrupt officers from Cocula and nearby Iguala abducted 43 students and handed them over to a local drug gang, that then killed them.
Daily Caller – Congress has decided to slash the amount of security aid to Mexico by a remarkable 25 percent from last year, marking the lowest figure since 2011. Mexico will receive just $146 million for security purposes.
Fortune – Since states have risen restrictions on marijuana, the demand for Mexican drugs has gone down significantly. The LA Times reports that in 2008 two-thirds of all marijuana consumed in the U.S. had been imported from Mexico, and now it’s less than one-third.
AP –The chief prosecutor in the western Mexico state of Michoacán said that criminals made up a large percentage of the “self-defense” vigilante movement that sprang up nearly three years ago to challenge a local drug cartel.
Huff Post – When it comes to Mexico, the Republican front-runners for U.S. president are clueless amateurs. Their view of Mexico, which shares a nearly 2,000-mile border with four U.S. states, appears shaped more by 1960s Clint Eastwood movies then anything resembling reality.
UPI – A shootout between gunmen of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s brother and a rival gang over territory left eight dead, while more than four tons of marijuana were seized and two suspected Sinaloa Cartel members were killed in a separate incident.
Independent – Criminal gangs are “contaminating democracy” in Mexico by funding political campaigns and even buying public debt to launder their dirty money, according to Edgardo Buscaglia, one of the world’s leading experts on international organised crime.
Some roads remained closed in northern Mexico on Monday after the biggest snow storm in more than half a century blanketed parts of the region, authorities said.
The weekend snowfall covered 32 towns in the state of Chihuahua, which borders the US states of Texas and New Mexico, with some places hit by accumulations of 30 centimeters (12 inches) and temperatures of minus-18 Celsius (zero Fahrenheit).
“It’s the most intense snowfall in the last 55 years,” Efren Matamoros, the civil protection director in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, told AFP.
Seventeen roads were closed over the weekend, but 11 of them reopened on Monday.
Huff Post -The United States is slowing the pace of security aid to Mexico amid an ongoing human rights disaster that led the State Department to withhold some $5 million in aid earlier this year. The budget Congress approved earlier this month awards roughly $146 million in security aid to Mexico. That figure is the lowest since 2011 and amounts to about three-quarters of the funding Congress authorized last year.
AP – The bullet-ridden bodies of four people including the co-founder of a violent drug cartel were found early Monday on a highway in western Mexico. The prosecutors’ office later confirmed in a statement that one of the victims was Carlos Rosales Mendoza, 53, alias “El Tisico.” Rosales is considered one of the founders and leaders of La Familia Michoacana cartel and the Knights Templar, which arose from the remnants of La Familia.
WSJ – Donald Trump’s rants against Mexican migrants have helped rocket him to the top of national polls in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. What an inconvenient fact it must be that Mexicans are now leaving the U.S. in greater numbers than they are arriving.
Dario de Yucatan – Merida will celebrate the 474 years of its founding with 20 events in its Merida Fest program starting Jan. 5, in which more than 150 artistic, cultural and academic activities will be presented by artists from eight countries.
Televise – The central lanes of Avenida Reforma are closed to traffic due to preparations to mount the stage where the New Year’s Eve celebration will take place at the monument of the Angel of Independence.
Mexico’s automotive industry closed 2015 with numbers never before seen and pending announcements of investments with the advent of new brands such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz and Infiniti, which manufactured from Mexico to the world.
At the end of this year, the automotive industry represents 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and closes with a surplus trade balance by about $50 billion and domestic sales above 1.3 million vehicles and a production of around 3.4 million vehicles.
The advance of the industry led Mexico to move from eighth to seventh largest producer of light cars. Three of the five automakers in the “Top Five” are located in Mexico.
With the advent of new investments announced since last year in Mexico, the country has positioned itself as an important nation in manufacturing, not only with light units, but from 2017 will compete in the manufacture of luxury vehicles.
The latest figures indicate in terms of capital, 10 percent of foreign direct investment Mexico has received comes from this sector, accumulating $23.489 billion from 2006 to 2014.
The president of the Mexican Association of Automotive Industry (AMIA), Eduardo Solis Sanchez, stressed that Mexico has many attractions to offer, so that companies continue to consider it as an investment destination.
TeleSur – Mexico’s northern states of Sonora and Chihuahua are bracing for more rough weather. At least 63 municipalities in Mexico’s northern Sonora state have declared a state of emergency amid fierce storms and unusually cold weather as of Monday.
San Diego Union-Tribune – At a time when border waits can stretch for hours, the plan seems almost too good to be true: a major new international crossing between Tijuana and San Diego, where trucks and passenger vehicles would wait no more than 20 minutes to reach the border.