For Mexico’s biggest winners and losers in 2015, peso was king

Mexican currency's 15% depreciation fuels stock performance.
Mexican currency’s 15% depreciation fuels stock performance.

By Benjamin Bain and Nacha Cattan / Bloomberg

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.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-31/for-mexico-s-biggest-winners-and-losers-in-2015-peso-was-king

Criminal gangs “contaminating” Mexico democracy

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.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/mexicos-criminal-gangs-contaminating-democracy-with-money-laundering-activities-that-are-going-a6786226.html

Biggest snow storm in decades hits northern Mexico

A picture released by Mexico's National Security Commission shows an aerial view of the road in the mountains of Chihuahua.
A picture released by Mexico’s National Security Commission shows an aerial view of the road in the mountains of Chihuahua.

AFP

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.

http://news.yahoo.com/biggest-snow-storm-decades-hits-north-mexico-191315527.html

U.S. aid to Mexico dwindles amidst human rights abuses

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.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mexico-security-human-rights_5681c198e4b0b958f65a3e4b

4 bodies including cartel co-founder found killed

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.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/bodies-dumped-mexican-highway-35978102

The automotive industry was Mexico’s engine of growth in 2015

At the end of 2015, Mexico’s auto production will total 3.4 million vehicles, placing the country in seventh place worldwide.
At the end of 2015, Mexico’s auto production will total 3.4 million vehicles, placing the country in seventh place worldwide.

Vanguardia

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.

http://www.vanguardia.com.mx/articulo/industria-automotriz-el-motor-del-2015