Mexico’s biggest low-cost carrier, Volaris, recently purchased 44 new Airbus planes in what is “the first major sale of European aircraft to Mexico.” In the words of the French Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Pierre Lellouche, “This opens up a new vista for the French… and European aviation industry,” as well as for Mexican aviation. The aircraft order, which includes 30 A320neos and 14 A320s, will make Volaris more competitive in domestic flights against Mexico’s national airline, Aeromexico. Lellouche declined to say how much the sale of the 44 new Airbus planes was worth, yet aviation sources claim the total amount could surpass $5 billion.
With this new deal, Volaris will continue building on its success as a Mexican airline and hopes to stay competitive when Aeromexico renews its fleet, currently made up entirely of Boeing planes.
Enrique Beltranena, Volaris CEO, said in a statement, “The arrival of the new A320s is great news not only for Volaris and the environment...[but] also for all of our customers." The fleet of latest generation Volaris planes are not only top-of-the-line, but also promote sustainability and environmental responsibility among airline carriers: “The new airplanes will let us strengthen our low price strategy to benefit a larger number of Mexicans, while their fuel efficiency and reliability will allow our fleet, the youngest in the country, to be even more friendly to the Mexican skies."
Recently Mexican President Calderón, in conjunction with the rest of the Mexican government, introduced the development of a new program set to provide loan opportunities for students in need of financial assistance with aspirations of pursuing higher education in Mexico. The Mexican government has announced that they will give out more than 3… billion pesos, or around $219 million in loans a year to students. President Calderón, in explaining the importance of pursuing higher education in Mexico, stated that this action “implies an economic power that a good part of the population lacks.”
This new financial aid program is similar to those in the U.S., Chile, and Brazil. Mexico hopes that the development of this loan program will lead to a certain “democratization” of higher education. Students receiving loans will additionally have a six-month grace period after the completion of their education to begin paying back their loans to the Government development bank Nafinsa. In order to qualify for a loan, students must continue maintaining good grades and have a reliable family member consent to co-sign the loan. This program is an important step for the Mexican population as a whole in terms of giving all individuals the chance to pursue higher education regardless of their financial situation.
ICANN, an Internet governing organisation founded in 1998, has named Rodrigo de la Parra as its vice president for Latin America and Nigel Hickson as its vice president for Europe. …
Rodrigo de la Parra
De la Parra was previously regional liaison for Latin America for the company and is a respected telecommunications expert. Before joining ICANN, De la Parra was director general of prospective regulation and director general for international cooperation of Mexico’s Federal Commission of Telecommunications. He has also served as the Mexican representative to ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee and a member of the Consultative Committee of NIC.mx, Mexico’s ccTLD.
With more than 30 years of regulatory and other experience, Hickson has held various posts with the governments of the United Kingdom and Bermuda. Prior to joining ICANN, Hickson led teams at the UK’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Department of Business, Innovation and Skills on global ICT policy and regulatory issues.
Mexico has seen a steady increase in demand for electricity over the past decade, which has in turn, created a need for the expansion of power companies. Over the next ten years, Mexico’s Energy Secretariat predicts that electricity consumption will grow by 3.3 percent.
One such company jumping in to fill this demand is POWERVAR Mexico, a subsidiary of North American based POWERVAR, Inc., which is responsible for all sales and services in Mexico. The worldwide provider of power protection solutions recently announced that it is opening a new office location in Mexico City, Mexico, to address the nation’s growing need for power.
The investment in Mexico City coincides with the company’s desire to expand its global reach.
"We have high expectations for the success of our new operation in Mexico. Our strategic approach is to place sales and support facilities where our OEM partners conduct business, just as we have in other regions of the world. POWERVAR is prepared to meet the growing demands and global expansion of our business partners," said Tom Gornick, POWERVAR's Vice President of Sales.
Last year, Mexico produced a record number of cars and light trucks.
According to the Mexican Automobile Industry Association (AMIA), 2011 production increased 13% from 2010, resulting in 2.56 million units. Additionally, 2.14 million vehicles were exported; this was the first time auto exports hit the 2 million mark, and was a 15% increase from 2010. Domestic auto sales grew 10% to 905,886 units in 2011, though they still remained below the level set in 2007, prior to the recession.
In December 2011, auto production grew 5%, auto exports rose 16%, and domestic sales grew 10%, when compared with totals from December 2010.
Eduardo Solis, the head of AMIA, said that automotive production in 2012 could be similar to 2011. There are warning signs, however, that economic trends in Europe could affect Mexico’s key export markets in the United States and South America. This could affect Mexico’s overall automotive output.
Denso Corporation plans to build a new plant in Silao, Guanajuato, Mexico, said Hikaru Sugi, President of Denso International America. Sugi made the announcement at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.
The plant will manufacture heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units with the Denso Corporation, hoping to produce additional products at this site in the future. The $57 million facility will employ about 400 people when it opens in October 2013.
This will be the third plant for DNMX, which also has a facility in Guadalupe City, Nuevo Leon.
Denso currently manufactures a variety of automotive products at its two existing plants, including instrument clusters, climate control panels, and system control components such as variable cam timing and oil control valves.
The announcement comes shortly after the company said it will open a research and development office in the Silicon Valley of California, and expands its operations in Southfield to house labs for battery cooling and in-dash technology engineering.
Jorge Arce has been appointed Chief Country Officer for Deutsche Bank Mexico where he has most recently lead the bank’s Private Wealth Management business as Head of Northern Latin America. Arce, a part of Deutsche Bank for 16 years, will be based in Mexico City and will report to the CEO of Deutsche… Bank Latin America, Bernardo Parnes.
"Jorge has a unique understanding of clients' needs and has been instrumental in developing strong client relationships in Mexico," says Parnes. “Mexico remains a key growth area for Deutsche Bank Americas and is a cornerstone of our strategy in Latin America. I am confident that the momentum we have developed in Mexico over the past several years will continue under Jorge's leadership.”
With experience doing business in Mexico on behalf of Deutsche Bank, Arce says, "I look forward to working with my colleagues to further strengthen the Deutsche Bank platform and maintain the excellent level of service that we deliver to our clients in Mexico."
Deutsche Bank has been established in Mexico for more than 50 years. In 2000, Deutsche Bank obtained a local banking license, and Deutsche Bank Mexico, S.A. - Institución de Banca Multiple, began operations.
Kansas City Southern, a 125-year-old company and the only U.S. railroad with a fully owned Mexican subsidiary, Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., is overcoming the European recession by increasing cross-border trade with Mexico. …
According to the most recent data from the Department of Transportation Statistics in Washington, cross-border merchandise trade between the U.S. and Mexico totaled $341 billion by the end of September this year. The statistic denotes a rise in revenue that was about 18 percent higher than it was at the same point in 2010. “This is the best organic growth story in the U.S. rail network,” says Matt Troy, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group in New York referencing the record trade between the two countries.
He estimates Kansas City Southern revenue will “grow two to three times faster than similar regional railroads for several years.” The fact is, Kansas City Southern’s shares have gained 18 percent since June 30, while the Standard & Poor’s Railroads Index has fallen 1.6 percent in the same period.
Due to rising labor and shipping costs in manufacturing hubs around the world such as those in Asia, a long list of companies including Nissan Motor Co., DuPont Co. and Honda to have shifted investments to Mexico. Now, many of the goods produced by their capital will head to the U.S., the destination for about 80 percent of Mexico’s exports.
According to another analyst, Neal Deaton of BB&T Capital Markets in Charlotte, North Carolina, traffic across the border should continue to pick up as Mexico’s production increases. “There’s been a strong manufacturing renaissance in Mexico over the last four to five years, and it’s only getting stronger,” Deaton says.
Inexpensive manufacturing costs and a competitive number of highly qualified engineers also support the surge in productivity, according to Mexican Economy Minister Bruno Ferrari in an interview at Expo México Emprende held in Los Angeles in August.
As more goods originate in Mexico, Kansas City Southern railways is trying to capture a larger portion of the $260 billion worth of goods that were shipped by truck across the U.S.-Mexico border in 2010. “We have invested to build a franchise,” says Patrick Ottensmeyer, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re having very good conversations with almost every railroad, and they all want to participate in the growth that’s happening in Mexico.”
Part of the railways’ international holdings include Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.; the railway serves northeastern and central Mexico and the port cities of Lázaro Cárdenas, Tampico and Veracruz.
Lone Star Gold, Inc. is thrilled to announce that the company will move forward with signing a Definitive Agreement to acquire an undivided 65 percent interest in the San Antonio del Potrero mine tailings project. The agreement will be signed at the beginning of January 2012. …
A letter of intent committing to acquiring an undivided 65 percent interest on the Tailings Project, located in the city of Hidalgo Del Parral in Chihuahua, Mexico, was originally signed on 28 November 2011. The project represents a resource of 1.2 million tons of mine tailings which shows potential for Silver recovery and additional bi-products including Gold, Zinc, and Lead.
The President of Lone Star, Daniel Ferris, was looking forward to the opportunity. He said that the opportunity was a great fit for the company and aligned well with the company’s goal of rapidly becoming a mid-tier producer in the short term. After the Definitive Agreement is signed in mid-January, the company will be in a great position to begin 6-8 years of production as soon as February 2012.
The Definitive Agreement details how a total of 600,000 shares of Lone Star’s common stock will be incrementally transferred over a one-year period. The shares will carry current and appropriate legends in accordance with U.S. Securities laws. The agreement also outlines the cash commitments for initial and secondary project work/equipment/plant construction for the first two years. After the processing of the project’s estimated 1.2 million tons of mine tailings have been processed, Lone Star will forfeit its 65 percent interest in the Mexican company. This will release Lone Star from any further obligations with the project.
The project is estimated to have 1.2 million tons of mine tailings from previous activities over the past century. An agreement is in place to take 100 tons per day to a processing plant 20 minutes away in Parral for the first 4-6 months of the project. After the initial 4-6 months, throughput is likely to be increased to over 200 tpd for the remainder of the year.
While in the midst of building the $1 billion Boleo copper-cobalt-zinc project, Baja Mining said that it was in search of a manganese buyer willing to sign an off take agreement. The company is in discussions with a number of potential buyers. …
Manganese, used in steel making, has been unaccounted for in the economic outlines of Boleo until now. In 2010, Baja Mining only considered copper, cobalt, and zinc production. Without the manganese, the company expects to produce 84 million pounds of copper, 3.6 million pounds of cobalt, and 28,400 tons of zinc a year for a total mine life of 23 years. Baja Mining suggested it could fetch a $1.3 billion net present value and estimated a favorable cost of production of negative $0.29 per pound of copper, net of zinc and cobalt credits.
The production of manganese could lower production costs even more. A production study, to be released in the third quarter of this year, will determine by how much manganese helps the base case.
The manganese could potential end up making a large portion of the project’s output.
A research team suggested that Baja Mining could produce around 220,000 tons of manganese carbonate a year at Boleo.
Just ahead of the New Year, Mexican Energy Secretariat, Jordy Herrera Flores, has announced that starting January 1, there will be a new program that aims to save electricity in and around the Guadalajara area. In short, the program can be described as an awareness campaign on the use of Light… Emitting Diode (LED), which aims to alleviate the impacts of climate change. Speaking in accordance with President Felipe Calderon, Flores stresses the importance of saving this energy source in Mexico. To join the list of beneficiaries, you must be an active member and make payments to the Commission Federal de Electricidad (CFE).
The first stock of LED driving lamps technology will be $10,000, and will aim to save up to 200 gigawatt hours per year.
By 2012, Mexico hopes that 25 percent of the energy consumed will be generated by renewable sources. By 2025, the measures currently being implemented will save up to 37,000 megawatt hours.
The Mexican Stock Exchange recently launched its own Sustainability Index, the third of its kind in the world. Together with the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE 4Good indices, the Mexican Sustainability Index will allow member companies to realize an additional equity value as they implement sustainability… practices across their organizations. Also, through the Sustainability Index, member firms will support Mexico’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in 2020.
In an exclusive video interview with MexicoToday, the Mexican Stock Exchange’s president Luiz Tellez Kuenzler shared, “The Sustainability Index puts the Mexican Stock Exchange at the level of the most important exchanges in the world. It is the first time we have had the sustainability process for Mexican companies implemented in the exchange, and puts Mexico in the forefront of the most important changes that are taking place in the financial sector.” When asked about what’s next following its launch, Tellez Kuenzler added, “We will have an ETF for the Index and those investors who are interested in investing in Mexican sustainability companies will be able to do that.”
The Mexican Sustainability Index is currently made up of by 26 companies, including Alfa, America Movil, Arca Continental, Bio Pappel, Cemex, Coca-Cola FEMSA, Compartamos, Controladora Comercial Mexicana, Casas GEO, Desarrolladora Homex, Empresas ICA, OMA, Kimberly-Clark de México, Aeropuertos del Sureste (ASUR), Mexichem, Organizacion Soriana, FEMSA, Industrias Peñoles, Grupo Financiero Banorte, Grupo Herdez, Grupo Bimbo, Grupo Modelo, Grupo Mexico, TV Azteca, Vitro, and Wal-Mart Mexico.
Member firms are evaluated by two fully-independent qualifying institutions, including EIRIS Empowerment Responsible Investment, which is headquartered in London and has a deep background with the FTSE Sustainability Index. The second institution is the South Anahuac University, a Mexican educational leader that participated in the development of the Index. And as part of the qualification process, member firms comply with international standards set by institutions such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and ISO14000, among others.
By 2015, Mexican mining company Grupo Mexico expects output at the Buenavista del Cobre copper mine to increase by 475,000 tons per year. Chief Operating Officer Xavier Garcia de Quevedo made the announcement in early December 2011. The new estimate has increased 6 percent since the last Mexican mining… industry estimate made in April 2011. If the new estimate were to become reality, it would double the current annual output.
“The mine has come back in great form,” Garcia de Quevedo said at a briefing in Mexico City.
In April, Grupo Mexico saw an increase of 450,000 tons per year at the Buenavista mine. The annual output rose to about 188,000 tons. Garcia de Quevedo believed that prices remained high because there were no new projects. Copper fell 20 percent in February, but rose to 18 percent in October.
The Buenavista mine near the U.S.-Mexico border had closed due to a mining strike in July 2007. It cost Grupo Mexico $3.5 billion in losses. However, the mine re-opened last year after a court order ended the mining strike. Damages caused by shortages in labor will cost Grupo Mexico more than $100 million to repair. The money will be well spent, as Buenavista is believed to have enough copper to remain in production for the next 70 years.
Mexico based Grupo Bimbo, Latin America’s biggest producer of baked goods, announced its acquisition of the U.S.-based Sara Lee Corporation bakery business in Spain and Portugal in October 2011. Grupo Bimbo completed the acquisition for 115 million euros ($153 million). …
Acquired brands included Bimbo, Silueta, Oritz, Martinex, and Eagle. The company will also take on seven manufacturing plants. The plants employ 1,900 people and facilitate commerce on more than 800 distribution routes.
“This acquisition positions Grupo Bimbo as the leading branded bread company on the Iberian Peninsula and enhances the Company’s international growth with a strong and established bakery business,” the company said in a statement.
In addition to the newly acquired Spain and Portugal units, Grupo Bimbo has 108,000 employees, manufactures more than 7,000 products, operates 102 plants, and organizes more than 1,000 distribution centers across 17 centuries in the Americas and Asia. The North American Sara Lee Corporation Fresh Bakery Unit had already been sold to Grupo Bimbo for $709 million.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde said in an interview that Brazil, Mexico and Peru have done remarkably well improving their economies over the past few years and can provide some lessons to other advanced countries.
The IMF chief has very specific ideas on how other economically stressed countries can benefit from the Latin American model. The chief explained that lessons “such as saving for a rainy day, and making sure that risks in the banking system are under control…I believe Latin America is now on a firm foundation, and can look ahead to lasting prosperity and stability that can lift the living standards of all.”
Lagarde identified social inclusion as one of the many factors behind the region’s recent economic progress, as issues of poverty, inequality, and human development have improved dramatically over the past decade.
Mexico’s Oportunidades programs have enjoyed particular success in breaking the intergenerational transmission of poverty—so much so that they are now models for the rest of the world.
“These countries have harvested the fruits of strong fundamentals, sound policy frameworks, and prudent macroeconomic policies and are now enjoying sustained growth with reduced vulnerabilities—an enviable sweet spot,” he added.
Lagarde went on to explain that Mexico in particular, is a country “in a unique position to shape our collective economic destiny over the coming year.”