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Mexico Targets Enhanced Global Economic Impact with Strategic Yen Market Entry


Michael Chen

May 7, 2024 - 17:58 pm


Mexico Contemplates a Strategic Return to Yen Debt Markets Amid Robust Economic Outlook

Mexico is actively considering the opportune moment to re-enter the yen debt market, possibly during the latter half of this current year, as suggested by Gabriel Yorio, the nation's Deputy Finance Minister. This announcement comes as the Mexican government explores various financial avenues to further strengthen its economic position on the global stage.

Yorio, during a Monday interview in New York, indicated that Mexico typically enters the yen market every one and a half to two years. Given this cadence, the upcoming period could be highly favorable for Mexico to tap into this market once again.

Gabriel Yorio, Mexico’s Deputy Finance Minister

Deputy Minister Yorio pointed out the rarity and value proposition that Mexico offers in the yen market, being one of the few emerging economies outside of Asia to issue yen-denominated debt. This places Mexico in a unique position to provide Japanese investors, who are used to very low returns, with the opportunity to invest in bonds that offer slightly higher yields. It is notable that the most recent issuance of Samurai bonds by Mexico was in 2022, a venture that successfully raised over half a billion dollars. These bonds had a special feature; they were tied to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing Mexico's commitment to responsibility and sustainability in its financial endeavors.

Aside from the yen market, Yorio also mentioned that Mexico has the option to issue bonds within the local market. The country's finance ministry is currently evaluating the level of interest among local pension funds for development capital certificates, or CKDs. These financial instruments are designed for investors who want to take part in private equity-type projects. These CKDs could be integral to the Mexican government's strategic plan to finalize a significant $6 billion acquisition of power plants from the Spanish energy company, Iberdrola.

"We're in a kind of roadshow phase," Yorio remarked. The government is on a quest to gather insights and feedback which will inform the decision about whether to engage the financial market for this end.

Yorio elaborated on the Mexican peso's impressive performance, claiming that it had been the strongest performing major currency over the last twelve months. This success is largely attributed to an influx of strong foreign direct investment, consistent and robust remittances, and the nation's high-interest rates; all factors contributing to the currency's glowing stability.

However, Yorio acknowledged the potential for currency volatility, particularly around the period of the US elections. Past narratives, like Donald Trump's calls for higher tariffs on Mexican goods, have previously caused the peso to stumble. Moreover, the currency faced a jolting flash crash last month, which was a consequence of increasing tensions in the Middle East, demonstrating the currency's susceptibility to international geopolitical fluctuations.

When touching upon the subject of Mexico's economic growth, Yorio expressed contentment that it has gone as expected by the government, despite looming fears of a global economic downturn. The Finance Ministry has projected a hopeful gross domestic product expansion of 2.5% to 3.5% for this year. However, it approaches budgetary matters with a conservative stance, preferring to use the lower end of the forecast range to underpin its fiscal planning.

Another significant development within Mexico's economic landscape is the establishment of a new state-controlled pension fund. Yorio shared that, before President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador concludes his term this October, a new pension framework will be introduced and administered by Mexico's central bank. The Finance Ministry is currently in the process of drafting the regulations under which this new pension entity is to be managed.

Looking towards the future and the presidential elections, Yorio voiced his amenability to serving in the government if Claudia Sheinbaum, the current presidential frontrunner and favorite of Lopez Obrador, were to emerge victorious in the impending elections. "But that's someone else's decision," he humbly added, acknowledging that the ultimate decision rests in the hands of others.

The Deputy Minister's discussions not only showcased the tactical deliberations surrounding Mexico's economic maneuvers but also reflected the administration's proactive stance on engaging with regional and global market trends. The intent to tap into the yen debt market and engage local investors through CKDs elucidates Mexico's multidimensional approach to fiscal enhancement and investment attraction.

Mexico's conscientious economic strategies, particularly the issuance of bonds bound by sustainability objectives, stand as a testament to its innovative financial leadership within the emerging markets. By potentially re-engaging with the yen debt market and local market issuance, the country is casting a wide financial net, capturing diverse investment interests and fortifying its economic resilience.

This nuanced understanding of both the domestic and international financial landscapes is critical for navigating through the unpredictable tides that define the world's economic oceans - from localized market preferences to the sweeping currents of global trends and political events. The Mexican government's careful tuning to these variables bodes well for the country's sustained growth and currency stabilization efforts.

Each statement from Yorio emanates with a sense of astute economic foresight and diligent planning, which positions Mexico as a favorable investment destination with promising horizons. The progression in its financial sector, illustrated by the development of new instruments and infrastructures such as the upcoming pension fund, reinforces Mexico's internal framework of financial security and growth.

Furthermore, Yorio’s willingness to collaborate with future administrations underscores the continuity and stability that characterize the Mexican government’s economic policies. Such potential alignment across different governmental terms ensures that the nation's fiscal plans and projects maintain a consistent trajectory towards prosperity and sound financial governance.

Thanks to the adept assistance of industry experts like Michael O'Boyle, Maya Averbuch, and Carolina Millan, Mexico can make calculated financial moves with a deep grasp of both the opportunities and the risks involved.

By leveraging this knowledge and the strategic financial instruments at their disposal, Mexico is carving a path that not only promotes a robust economy in the immediate future but also sets a foundation for long-term economic vitality and stability. Mexico's intricate balance of domestic priorities and international participation is likely to influence the emerging market economies that are observing and perhaps emulating these progressive movements.

As the year unfolds, the global financial community will be watching closely to see how Mexico's plans come into fruition and how the results will affect not just its own fortunes but also the wider dynamics of the global market. Whether it's the pioneering use of sustainable bonds or the strategic maneuvering within currency markets, Mexico is certainly setting a pace worthy of attention and possible emulation in the realm of emerging market economies.

This proactive approach and resiliency, attributes Mexico not just with the foresight to navigate potential volatility but also with the strength to potentially weather and capitalize on such challenges. These developments and plans shared by Deputy Minister Yorio are indications of a nation steadfastly climbing the ladder of economic development and prosperity.

In closing, it is evident that Mexico's ambition is not just to persevere but to thrive amidst the global economic and political landscapes. With a combination of astute leadership, strategic planning, and unwavering optimism, Mexico is well on its way to achieving its aspirations for financial robustness and expanded global influence.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

For further details on the topics discussed, follow this link to Bloomberg's source article: Bloomberg - Mexico Weighs Yen Bond Sale