Financial Times – Appearances are very important in Mexico. So the head of Pemex looked rather conspicuous by his absence at the launch of the long-awaited tender terms.
By Juan Montes / Wall Street Journal
Mexico’s finance minister bought a home from a prominent government contractor who is at the center of influence-peddling allegations roiling President Enrique Peña Nieto ’s administration, documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal show.
Property records show that the minister, Luis Videgaray, widely seen as the driving force behind Mexico’s recent economic overhauls, bought the house in an exclusive golf resort outside the picturesque town of Malinalco, in the central State of Mexico, from Bienes Raíces.
Bienes Raices, commercial records show, is owned by Juan Armando Hinojosa, whose companies have won hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of public-works projects during Peña Nieto’s time as governor of the State of Mexico and during his current administration.
Videgaray isn’t accused of an illegal act. But the transaction adds to the appearance of conflicts of interest that have damaged Peña Nieto’s credibility and popularity after he came to office promising a break from the clubby practices of his ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party’s past.
It also is a fresh example of the extensive business and personal links between the contractor and senior government officials.
Videgaray, in written response to questions from the Journal, said that he bought the house from Hinojosa in October 2012, a few months before Peña Nieto’s administration took office on Dec. 1. By then, Videgaray was widely tipped as the next finance minister.
“There was no conflict of interest. I did the deal when I was not holding public office, and the deal was within market parameters,” Videgaray said.
CNBC – Mexico is one of the few oil producers that might not be concerned about the massive drop in the price of oil. Regardless of market price, the nation will get $76.50 per barrel.
Detroit News – General Motors Co. said Thursday it will invest $5 billion in Mexico over six years, dating from 2013 through 2018, and will add 5,600 new jobs in the region.
Mashable – A man brandishing a Mexican flag stained with blood-red paint disrupted Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance ceremony as the 17-year-old stood on stage.
Skift – Southwest said plans to fly to four destinations in Mexico — Mexico City, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos — and to Belize and San Jose, Costa Rica.
Bloomberg – Mexico expects a first package of offshore oil licenses to generate about $14 billion of investment as the country seeks to halt a decade-long output slide.