Strangled by low oil prices, Mexico is slow to make payments

Mexico's largest construction company in the public-works sector, Empresas ICA, appears to be teetering near insolvency. Most of its work is for the government, or state-sector companies.
Mexico’s largest construction company in the public-works sector, Empresas ICA, appears to be teetering near insolvency. Most of its work is for the government, or state-sector companies.

By Mark Stevenson / Associated Press 

Getting paid has always been hard for government contractors in Mexico, but seldom has the problem been so bad, as low oil prices are battering government finances.

Analysts and officials said Tuesday the problem has broken out into the open. Government contractors are openly complaining and experts worry the country’s largest construction firm could be nearing bankruptcy.

The head of Mexico’s top business chamber publicly rebuked President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday, saying that late payments were putting Mexican businesses at risk of failing.

“The late payments and non-payments don’t just put thousands of businesses at risk,” Juan Pablo Castanon said at event with Pena Nieto. “They put at risk the jobs of thousands of families in Mexico.”

The president’s office said it had no response to the comments.

http://www.startribune.com/strangled-by-low-oil-prices-mexico-slow-on-payments/362490671/

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