September 20, 2020
1. General Salvador Cienfuegos returns to Mexico without arrest charges
After spending several weeks in U.S. prisons on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, General Salvador Cienfuegos, former Minister of National Defense, returned to Mexico after the U.S. Justice Department asked the judge to dismiss the charges and agree to his return to the country.
So far, the Attorney General’s Office has opened an investigation in which General Cienfuegos is involved, however, upon his return to Mexico he was released, and no charges have been filed against him.
2. Ministry of Finance and Public Credit performs historic debt refinancing
The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) refinanced Mexico’s debt by about USD $6.6 billion, making it the largest refinancing project in the government’s history.
For its part, the Mexican banks announced that, as of October, they have restructured nearly MXN $90 billion (USD $4.48 billion) in loans in order to support customers with lower monthly payments at a longer term, allowing for greater liquidity in the face of the current economic situation in the country resulting from the pandemic. Similarly, the Mexican Banking Association (ABM) announced that Daniel Backer, President and CEO of Grupo Financiero Mifel, will be the new president of the Association.
El Economista: Hacienda realizó refinanciamiento de deuda histórico.
El Financiero: Reestructura la banca 90 mil millones de pesos en créditos
3. Tourism sector reports record-breaking losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic
According to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), as of September, the COVID-19 pandemic has represented a 57.3% loss to the tourism sector compared to last year, costing the sector close to USD $10.7 billion in losses.
The Migration Policy Unit of the Ministry of the Interior reported that from January to September 8.4 million international travellers have been lost, representing a drop of 59.7% compared to the previous year. For its part, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that the recovery of tourism to pre-pandemic levels could take up to three years, depending on a possible second wave of contagion.
El Financiero: Pierde turismo mexicano 10 mil 668 mdd por COVID-19
4. Pemex seeks to use Banxico’s reserves for financing
The Board of Directors of Petróleos Mexicano (Pemex) is seeking to get Banco de México to invest its international reserves in the company’s debt bonds in order to resolve its liabilities and scheduled maturities over the next three years, which have an estimated cost of nearly USD $31 billion. As of September 30th, it is estimated that Pemex’s total debt amounts to MXN $2.48 trillion (USD $123.4 billion), 24.9% more than at the end of 2019.
Gabriel Yorio, Deputy Minister of Finance and Public Credit, and Rocío Nahle, Minister of Energy, pointed out that this investment alternative has been explored since it can generate higher returns. However, Gerardo Esquivel, Deputy Governor of the Bank, has pointed out that such transaction is not legally feasible.
El Universal: Plantean usar reservas para financiar a Pemex
5. Heavy rains in Tabasco leave thousands of victims
Following heavy rains in the south of the country, Laura Velázquez Alzú, National Coordinator of Civil Protection, stated that approximately 90,000 people were affected in Tabasco and approximately 25,000 houses were damaged by the floods.
The Governor of Tabasco, Adán Augusto López, indicated that he will file the corresponding complaints against the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in order to compensate the affected population because he considers that the undue extraction of water from the dam by the state company caused the flooding in three municipalities of the state.