Variety – Latin America’s most prominent animation studio, Anima Estudios, and Colombia-based Teravision Games have pacted to generate mobile apps based on Anima’s slate.
Market Watch – Mexico’s biggest retailer, Wal-Mart de Mexico, saw first-quarter sales expand at their slowest pace in over two years, held back by an incipient slowdown in consumption, protests, and several negative calendar effects.
Fox News – A Halloween costume on Amazon is causing outrage. Costume Agent’s unisex “Mexico Will Pay” jumpsuit isn’t sitting well with some Amazon customers who say the costume is racist. A petition to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demands the costume based on President Donald Trump’s efforts to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico, be taken down immediately.
By Anthony Harrup / Wall Street Journal
Mexican mining and railroad company Grupo Mexico has agreed to buy Florida East Coast Railway Holdings Corp. in a $2.1 billion deal, expanding its transport operations in the U.S. with the acquisition of the 351-mile railway.
Grupo Mexico, which operates Mexico’s Ferromex and Ferrosur railways through its transport unit GMXT, said that the acquisition will complement its operations in Texas and increase the reach and scale of its North American rail operations.
GMXT will use $350 million in cash and take on $1.75 billion in debt to finance the transaction, which requires government authorizations before closing.
FEC, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is owned by funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, operates along the east coast of Florida, serving the ports of Miami, Everglades and Palm Beach and handling some 550,000 railcars a year.
Reuters – Italy’s Eni said it expects that its recent crude oil discovery off the coast of Mexico would hold more than the 800 million barrels of oil it originally estimated. “This is an important find and we’ve found new layers of good light oil that make us think there’s more,” Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi said.
Financial Times – Italian oil company Eni has discovered “meaningful” reserves of oil off the coast of Mexico after drilling the first well by an international oil company since Mexico opened up its long closed oil sector to private investment under a 2013 reform. “Reserves are still being assessed, but the well indicates a meaningful upside to the original estimates,” Eni said in a statement.
American Banker – U.S. community banks would be worst hit if President Trump’s threats to upend the North American Free Trade Agreement or impose a 35% tariff on Mexican imports sparks a trade war. Lenders in the U.S. farming heartland and across Texas and California could face big losses if Mexico were to slap retaliatory tariffs on U.S. grains to counter Trump’s protectionist policies, several bankers and analysts said.
WSJ – Retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico said it plans to increase its capital expenditures by a fifth this year, with investments in opening and remodeling stores and bolstering the firm’s logistics and online commerce. The unit, also known as Walmex, said it would invest 17 billion pesos ($863 million) this year, 19% more than in 2016.
Newsweek – Though President Donald Trump has said he wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, his company received three trademarks from Mexico The trademarks, valid until 2026, reportedly add to another license the Trump Organization received from Mexico and cover a wide range of businesses from construction to hotels to insurance.
Financial Times – E-commerce giant Amazon has launched its Amazon Prime service south of the border a day after official data pointed to a pickup in consumer confidence. The service will cost 449 pesos ($23) for the first year, rising to 899 pesos a year after that, giving shoppers in Mexico City, Querétaro, Puebla and Guadalajara one-day delivery.
Reuters – Mexico’s seven-person telecom regulations board voted on whether to toughen, maintain or loosen rules against America Movil and broadcaster Grupo Televisa, according to the three people, who declined to be named as deliberations were not public. Reuters could not confirm whether they decided to force Slim’s company to separate off part of Telmex. However, two of the sources said they expected the proposal was on the table.
Fox News – Walmart Stores Inc. won the dismissal of a U.S. lawsuit accusing the world’s largest retailer of defrauding shareholders in its Walmart de Mexico unit by concealing its suspected bribery of public officials in Mexico. U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla said holders of Wal-Mex’s American depository shares cannot pursue claims that Wal-Mex’s former Chairman Ernesto Vega and Chief Executive Scot Rank knew or were reckless in not knowing about the bribery allegations.
Reuters – Mexico’s Grupo Televisa said that it would slash its capital expenditure in 2017 by more than one third to around $1 billion. The broadcaster and world’s leading Spanish-language content provider said that most of the cut would come in its cable division.
Fortune – An advisor on Donald Trump’s business council is voicing concerns with the President’s approach to Mexico. Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, met with Trump last week as part of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum. Fink, who presides over BlackRock’s more than $5 trillion in assets under management, appears to have left the meeting with serious misgivings about the direction President Trump is headed.
WSJ – General Motors Co. reported another record profit in its core North American market last year, but a key driver of its performance in the region is vulnerable to the Trump administration’s proposed crackdown on imports. About 20% of the company’s highly profitable light trucks are built in Mexican factories.
Salon – For Chipotle Mexican Grill, President Trump’s threat to jack up prices on Mexican fruits and vegetables is no joke. Any increase in the cost of its primary raw ingredients would do measurable harm to the Denver-based Tex-Mex chain just as it’s digging out from a crippling string of E coli and norovirus outbreaks that occurred at Chipotles in numerous states in the latter half of 2015.
Reuters – BBVA warned of a tougher business environment in Mexico this year while the Spanish bank’s largest market adapts to the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump. A 14 percent fall in the peso over the past year, on concerns Trump could rip up a free trade deal with his southern neighbor, contributed to a drop of nearly 30 percent in fourth-quarter profit at BBVA.
Stuff – New Zealand firm Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has started building a new manufacturing plant in Mexico at a cost of about $50 million despite concerns it could be hit by an import tax floated by U.S. President Donald Trump.
CNBC – Whether by foresight or mere good fortune, U.S. banks have reduced their exposure to Mexico just as tension between the two countries is heating up. Over a two-year period, the financial institutions cut their dealings with Mexico by 13 percent, according to consulting and analysis firm SNL Financial. The 11 U.S. banks with the most Mexico exposure have a combined $96 billion in cross-border claims.
CNN – Ant Financial, a related company of Alibaba, the global conglomerate backed by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, is buying MoneyGram for $880 million. The deal could be one of the first tests of how serious President Donald Trump is about cracking down on money transfers, also known as remittances, to Mexico.