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Netherlands returns over 200 pre-Hispanic artifacts to Mexico
  + stars: | 2022-12-02 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
MEXICO CITY, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The Netherlands has returned 223 pre-Hispanic archaeological pieces to Mexico, Mexico's foreign ministry said on Thursday, as it looks to recover more of its cultural heritage held in foreign collections. The returns were the result of "active cooperation" between the two countries and showed a commitment to restore historical and cultural objects to their place of origin, the ministry said. The INAH this week denounced a Paris auction that included Mexican objects valued in the thousands or tens of thousands of euros. The Netherlands this year returned a collection of 343 pre-Hispanic era ceramics to Panama. Culture ministers from around the world have pledged to boost efforts to return stolen and illegally traded artifacts to countries of origin.
U.S. threatens legal steps over Mexico's planned GMO corn ban
  + stars: | 2022-11-28 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
MEXICO CITY, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The United States on Monday threatened legal action against Mexico's plan to ban imports of genetically modified corn in 2024, saying it would cause huge economic losses and significantly impact bilateral trade. The countries are already in dispute resolution talks over Mexican energy policies, which the United States argues violates the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade pact. The planned ban would halve Mexico's imports of yellow corn from the United States, a Mexican agriculture official told Reuters in October. Supporters of the plan say genetically modified seeds could contaminate Mexico's age-old native varieties. Vilsack said Lopez Obrador had reaffirmed the importance of yellow corn imports for Mexico's food security, and that he was expecting to soon receive a proposal from the president on a potential dialogue over the issue.
LONDON/NEW YORK, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Mexico's Banca Mifel has lined up investors including Apollo Global Management and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) to fund a bid for Citigroup Inc’s (C.N) Mexican retail bank, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The debt financing could attract more investors to join in Mifel's bid to buy Citibanamex, although there is enough funding already in place to fully support Mifel's proposal, one of the sources said. The competition to buy one of Mexico’s biggest banks has narrowed to two bidders, with smaller rival Mifel, led by Daniel Becker, battling billionaire German Larrea's conglomerate Grupo Mexico (GMEXICOB.MX). The two remaining bidders are now conducting further due diligence on the business, also known as Banamex, the sources said. Representatives from Mifel and Grupo Mexico did not immediately respond to emails and phone calls requesting comment.
[1/2] An employee checks a car at used autos platform Kavak in Mexico City, Mexico, August 25, 2020. REUTERS/Edgard GarridoMEXICO CITY, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Mexican online used-car dealership Kavak has made significant spending cuts and laid off staff as it prepares for a challenging 2023, according to an internal email sent Friday and seen by Reuters. Carlos Garcia, the start-up's chief executive, said in the email that Kavak has made "significant cuts in expenditure ... reducing the size of the team accordingly." The email did not specify what regions were affected by the cuts or the number of people laid off. A company spokesperson confirmed the email had been sent but declined to provide additional details.
MEXICO CITY, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Mexican cryptocurrency exchange unicorn Bitso laid out a transparency roadmap, as pressure from users mounted following the high-profile collapse of crypto exchange FTX, a top Bitso executive told Reuters on Thursday. In a spectacular crypto blowup, FTX filed for protection in the United States earlier this month after traders pulled $6 billion from the platform in three days and rival exchange Binance abandoned a rescue deal. FTX's crash has created a sense of urgency to regulate crypto, the chair of global securities watchdog IOSCO Jean-Paul Servais said in an interview published Thursday. Brazilian lawmakers are speeding up crypto regulation, and in the United States, Congress is expected to make progress next year on regulating its sprawling crypto sector. While Bitso's growth could suffer in the near-term as it implements the new transparency methods, Vallejo said non-crypto services, such as remittances to Mexico, could help offset the blow.
MEXICO CITY, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Mexican bank Grupo Financiero Inbursa (GFINBURO.MX) said on Wednesday it had pulled out of the bidding process for U.S. bank Citigroup's Mexican retail arm Citibanamex. Carlos Slim's Inbursa and German Larrea's Grupo Mexico (GMEXICOB.MX) were seen as the frontrunners in bidding for Citibanamex, known also as Banamex. "We considered from the beginning (of the bid) that it was going to be difficult for a player in the sector to make such an acquisition. Other heavyweight names such as Grupo Financiero Banorte (GFNORTEO.MX), Spanish bank Santander (SAN.MC) and media tycoon Ricardo Salinas have previously also pulled out of the process. Reporting by Carolina Pulice and Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Anthony Esposito, Stephen Coates and Chris ReeseOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
MEXICO CITY, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Mexican bank Grupo Financiero Inbursa (GFINBURO.MX) said on Wednesday it had pulled out of the bidding process for U.S. bank Citigroup's Mexican retail arm Citibanamex. "Inbursa confirms that, following submission of a non-binding proposal for the businesses in question, the parties mutually agreed that Inbursa will not be continuing to the next stages of the process," it said in a filing. Mexican corporate titans Carlos Slim's Inbursa and German Larrea's Grupo Mexico (GMEXICOB.MX) were seen as the frontrunners in bidding for Citibanamex, known too as Banamex. Earlier this month, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said there are at least three remaining bidders for Banamex. Reporting by Carolina Pulice and Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Anthony EspositoOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Mexican telecommunications giant America Movil (AMXL.MX) kicked off the trend late last year when its shareholders approved the spinoff of its cell tower business. Some analysts said both Alfa and Televisa may consider further spinoffs as they look to boost their depressed valuations. Other companies, like Coke bottler and retailer Femsa (FEMSAUBD.MX), whose shares are down 3.3% year-to-date, after gaining 6% in 2021, may follow suit. Alfa lost 2.69% the day after its shareholders approved the Axtel spinoff, while Televisa's shares advanced 0.86% the day after it revealed plans for a similar move. Televisa, meanwhile, could follow its sports spinoff with either its editorial or magazine businesses, two analysts said.
Nov 16 (Reuters) - Argentina's rising central bank debt poses a risk to the country's monetary stability, ratings agency Moody's said on Wednesday, adding it could further stoke inflation and aggravate any exchange rate shock if savers flee from the local peso currency. "With the amount of pesos the central bank and government have, they may conclude that they have no choice but to limit access," Moody's analyst Gabriel Torres said in a webinar. "Argentina has not been in that situation for a while, but it has done so in the past," he added. In a report Moody's said central bank interest-bearing debt had increased significantly relative to GDP in the last two years, while its ratio to the monetary base was now over 200%. "Argentinean banks' exposure to government and central bank debt – mostly denominated in local currency – has recently increased and poses systemic risks for the financial sector."
MEXICO CITY, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday his administration will issue a call for U.S. and Canadian companies to participate in the country's incipient lithium market. Mexico does not yet have commercial lithium production, though close to a dozen foreign companies hold contracts to explore potential deposits. The role of foreign companies will be centered in building infrastructure and state entities will hold the majority stakes in the projects, he added. Lopez Obrador nationalized Mexico's lithium deposits in April, hoping to cash in on surging demand for the metal. Though Mexico does not currently produce lithium, the finance ministry estimated the value of Sonora lithium reserves at $600 billion.
Nov 11 (Reuters) - Net profit at Grupo SURA, Colombia's largest investment company, stayed relatively stable in the third quarter compared to the year-ago period as both revenues and costs grew, the company said in a statement on Friday. The firm's net profit for the three-month period stood at 400.30 billion pesos ($83.29 million), dipping 2% year-on-year. Grupo SURA's revenue for the quarter hit 7.85 trillion pesos, up 19% from the year before, on double-digit growth in its insurance sector. Operational costs for the company also grew, however, rising some 16% from the year-ago quarter. SURA said it would continue to focus on cost control and efficiency, adding the increase in costs was still lower than the jump in revenue.
Chile's Falabella says looking for suppliers outside China
  + stars: | 2022-11-10 | by ( )   time to read: 1 min
SANTIAGO, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Chile's Falabella is looking to expand its supplier network outside China, eying Bangladesh and Vietnam, a top executive for the company said Thursday during a call to discuss third-quarter results. The Chilean retailer on Tuesday reported a third-quarter net loss of 24.87 billion pesos ($25.7 million), down from the 183 billion peso profit seen one year ago. Reporting by Valentine Hilaire and Fabian CamberoOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
The United States wanted to sell Mexico more yellow corn and Mexico declined, Lopez Obrador said in a regular news conference. "There is a market for it, but the government cannot make a purchase because we do not want GM," Lopez Obrador said, citing a lack of scientific investigation into its effects. Lopez Obrador did not specify who made the request to sell more corn, the amount of the requested sale or the time frame. Mexico is ready to halve its U.S. imports of yellow corn when the decree goes into effect and is considering direct agreements with farmers to secure non-GM yellow corn imports, the country's deputy agriculture minister said in October. Chicago Board of Trade corn futures fell on Wednesday after the news, with the benchmark December contract down 6 cents a bushel at a two-month low of $6.61-1/2 a bushel.
Nov 8 (Reuters) - Colombia's state oil company Ecopetrol (ECO.CN) on Tuesday reported its third-quarter net profit more than doubled to 9.51 trillion pesos ($1.90 billion), rising 150% from a year earlier, as both sales and prices shot up. The firm's revenues climbed 86% to 43.44 trillion pesos, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) doubled to 21.14 trillion pesos during the period, it said in a filing. Production rose 5.4% in the third quarter of the year to an average of 720,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), up from 683,600 boed over the year-ago quarter. High crude prices have led U.S. oil majors Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) and Chevron (CVX.N) to record blockbuster quarterly profits, though Mexican state oil firm Pemex posted a loss, stemming from a weaker currency and higher sales costs. ($1= 5,013.20 Colombian pesos)Reporting by Kylie Madry and Noe Torres; Writing by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Oliver Griffin and Jonathan OatisOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
U.S. automaker Ford opens $260 million campus in Mexico
  + stars: | 2022-11-01 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
MEXICO CITY, Oct 31 (Reuters) - U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co (F.N) opened its new global technology and business center on the outskirts of Mexico's capital on Monday after a $260 million investment. The new campus will host business operations, global transformation activities and the largest engineering center in Mexico, according to a video shared by the company's Twitter account. loadingThe campus, located in the municipality of Naucalpan, is set to host 9,000 employees working in a hybrid manner, splitting time between home and the campus, Ford Motor said in a statement. Several foreign auto companies have expanded operations and announced new investments in Mexico this year. Reporting by Carolina Pulice and Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Rashmi AichOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Italian mafia kingpin captured in Argentina - police
  + stars: | 2022-11-01 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
[1/2] Police escort Carmine Alfonso Maiorano after he was detained in Guernica, Argentina, in this undated handout image provided by Argentina's Federal Police October 31, 2022. Carmine Alfonso Maiorano, a 68-year-old leader of the Italian 'Ndrangheta mafia, was captured last Wednesday in the town of Guernica in the province of Buenos Aires, the statement said. The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as Interpol, considers 'Ndrangheta "one of the most extensive and powerful criminal organizations in the world." The 'Ndrangheta mafia established itself in Argentina several years ago, the police statement said, operating in tandem with Albanian counterparts in Europe. The detainee was placed at the disposal of Argentina's Federal Criminal and Correctional Court.
BEIJING, Oct 30 (Reuters) - China's central bank will step up credit support for the real economy while keeping the yuan basically steady, Governor Yi Gang said in comments published on Sunday, reaffirming the bank's existing policy objectives. "We will keep liquidity reasonably ample, increase credit support to the real economy," Yi was quoted by a central bank statement as saying during a parliament session on Friday. The central bank will make 200 billion yuan ($27.6 billion)in special loans to ensure the delivery of stalled housing projects, Yi said. China will properly resolve financial risks in the real estate sector and guide financial institutions to meet property developers' demand for financing, within reason, Yi said. Between 2017 and 2021, China disposed of non-performing assets in the banking sector worth more than 12 trillion yuan, he said.
BUENOS AIRES/LONDON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Argentina reached a deal to restructure some $1.97 billion it owes the Paris Club, Argentina's government and the creditor group said on Friday, which will push repayments back as far as 2028 and bring relief of some $248 million to the country. "Today, Argentina successfully completed an agreement with the Paris Club to normalize relations between our country, our companies, and our workers with the countries of the European bloc," Argentine Economy Minister Sergio Massa said. The deal would see the current 9% interest rate on the debt cut to a weighted average of 4.5%, according to a document shared with Reuters by officials. read moreThe Paris Club, whose members include the United States, Japan and Germany, last year gave Argentina more time to repay the debt while it carried out an ultimately successful negotiation with the IMF over a new $44 billion program. The Paris Club said in a statement the two sides had revamped the debt deal to clear remaining payments over a six-year period between December 2022 and September 2028.
MEXICO CITY, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Mexico is making progress towards recovering its Category 1 aviation rating, but the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not yet approved its plan as claimed earlier by the Mexican government, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday. Mexico's foreign ministry said earlier in a statement that U.S. authorities approved Mexico's government plan to recover its Category 1 aviation rating, revoked roughly a year and a half ago. Mexico expects to complete its action plan in December as part of its bid to recover the U.S.-issued aviation rating, the statement said. It added the FAA will visit Mexico and set a final audit date in January, in order to recover the Category 1 status before mid-2023. The FAA downgraded Mexico's aviation safety rating in May 2021, saying it fell short of regulating its air carriers "in accordance with minimum international safety standards."
MEXICO CITY, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Mexico's Grupo Bimbo (BIMBOA.MX) on Thursday posted a 51% year-on-year jump in its third quarter net profit, beating estimates, boosted by strong sales and product price increases to tackle rising inflation. Grupo Bimbo's earnings stood at 6.06 billion pesos ($301 million) in the July to September period, the company said in a statement, well above the 4.1 billion pesos anticipated by analysts, according to Refinitiv. The company increased prices in Europe, Asia and Africa, and said it also adjusted prices in the rest of the regions it operates in. "We reached record levels and our volumes continued to grow despite price increases," Bimbo's Chief Executive Daniel Servitje said in a statement. The firm's earnings per share stood at 1.37 pesos, beating the Refinitiv estimate of 1.02 pesos.
The bid amounts for the unit, known too as Banamex, were not disclosed by the sources. The sources also cautioned that no deal was guaranteed with any party and Citigroup could ultimately decide to sell Banamex shares on the Mexican Stock Exchange instead. Inbursa and Grupo Mexico declined to comment. Backed by Slim, Mexico's richest person, Inbursa was flagged as a strong contender when Citigroup put Banamex up for sale in January. However, mining tycoon Larrea has the firepower to compete as a candidate to buy Banamex, the sources said.
[1/3] Figurines are seen in front of the Airbnb logo in this illustration taken February 27, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File PhotoMEXICO CITY, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Mexico City's mayor said on Wednesday she wants to boost the number of 'digital nomads' in the capital after signing an agreement with short-term rental platform Airbnb, despite fears the influx is pricing residents out of the rental market. Average daily rates for short-term rentals across Mexico City jumped 27% to $93 in August 2022 compared with the same month in 2019, data from market research company AirDNA shows. Airbnb is also opening its platforms for Mexican residents to create tourism experiences around their daily activities, according to Sheinbaum. The partnership between Mexico City's government and Airbnb is also backed by UNESCO, United Nations' cultural agency.
MEXICO CITY, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday he will propose to the United States expanding a program announced last week to grant up to 24,000 Venezuelans humanitarian access to the United States by air. "We are going to be asking that they give out more," he told a regular news conference. Register now for FREE unlimited access to RegisterReporting by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Daina Beth SolomonOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a news conference, at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico September 30, 2022. "Relations between the government of the United States and Venezuela need to be restored," Lopez Obrador told a news conference. Since the policy was enacted, several thousand Venezuelans who entered the United States illegally have been returned to Mexico. Lopez Obrador urged the United States to expand the Venezuela humanitarian access permits beyond 24,000 people. "They're not enough," Lopez Obrador said.
REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/MEXICO CITY, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Spin by Oxxo, the financial technology initiative launched by Mexican bottler and retailer Femsa, is set to reach 10 million users by 2023, up from four million currently, Spin's Director General Asensio Carrion told Reuters. Spin by Oxxo, which has been financed with internal funds, has quickly become a major player in Mexican fintech. For comparison, Latin America's largest fintech Nubank has about 2.1 million customers in the country, while local player Stori aims to hit the two million client mark by 2023. Mexico's Grupo Financiero Banorte, in its second-quarter results, said it had 6.7 million digital clients. The company has more than 20,600 Oxxo stores across Latin America, and has plans to increase the number by 50% over the next decade.
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