14 | NOV | 2019
Businessmen in support of Mexico’s President-elect AMLO
Some of Mexico’s most influential business leaders have launched a campaign in an attempt to unify the Mexican people - Photo: Valente Rosas/EL UNIVERSAL

Businessmen in support of Mexico’s President-elect AMLO

05/07/2018
15:25
Newsroom & Agencies
Mexico City
Anthony Esposito & Stefanie Eschenbacher/REUTERS
-A +A
Mexico's business elite and López Obrador had a respectful and friendly meeting on Wednesday

Mexico’s business elite had warm words for President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday after he assured them he respected private enterprise, a contrast to jibes in his campaign that some tycoons belonged to a “mafia of power.”

The encounter between the powerful CCE business lobby and López Obrador comes as markets took the election of the self-styled radical in stride.

At a news conference, CCE director Juan Pablo Castañón and López Obrador said their meeting was characterized by certainty and trust.

“I want to express my satisfaction for the attitude of the business sector,” López Obrador said. “They have acted very respectfully to us, recognizing our triumph.”

 

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Since Sunday’s presidential election, López Obrador and his team have focused on soothing market fears, saying he would not ramp up government spending and would respect the central bank’s independence.

Mexico’s business community has in turn reached out to try to ease past tensions with the new leader.

German Larrea, chairman of miner Grupo Mexico, published a full-page message in a national newspaper congratulating Lopez Obrador and applauding his comments. During the campaign, Larrea had warned his staff against voting for López Obrador.

Claudio X. González, whose family owns part of Kimberly Clark in Mexico, said on Twitter he wished López Obrador the best and asked him to be a unifying figure.

Former President Vicente Fox, who had a tense relationship with López Obrador when he was mayor of Mexico City and released a video during the campaign titled “how can you support López? Impossible.” also congratulated him.

 

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Some of Mexico’s most influential business leaders have launched a campaign in an attempt to unify the Mexican people and dissipate doubts about López Obrador’s respect for private companies and the independence of the Bank of Mexico.

With the hashtag #CreoEnMéxico (I Believe in Mexico), the group released a video showing the reassuring testimony of business tycoons such as Carlos Danel, executive director of Gentera; Antonio Del Valle, from Grupo Kaluz; José Antonio Fernández, head of FEMSA; María Asunción Aramburuzabala, from Tresalia Capital; Daniel Servitje, from the Bimbo Group, and Alejandro Ramírez, executive manager of Cinepolis and chairman of the Mexican Businessmen Council.

On Wednesday, López Obrador said even though his coalition will likely have a majority in Congress, he would not impose anything and said he was building an authentic democracy, not a dictatorship.

López Obrador and Castañón agreed to work together on labor issues for young people, after a campaign promise for apprenticeships funded in part by the government. Lopez Obrador said his youth programs and higher pensions for the elderly would together cost 150 billion pesos ($7.7 billion dollars).

Investors say they have yet to see how the next president’s pledge to cut excess spending and corruption will pay for his promises.

“We have not had any detailed numbers on how this will be achieved or if this will even be possible,” said Graham Stock, emerging market sovereign strategist at BlueBay Asset Management.

Mexico’s peso on Tuesday posted its biggest daily increase in over two years, boosted by a global emerging markets rally as well as pledges from Lopez Obrador to not increase spending.

Despite uncertainty about what policies Lopez Obrador could put in place, foreign investors have been comforted by the discipline of Mexico’s central bank.

“Banxico could teach many central banks in emerging markets a lesson when it comes to monetary policy and how to do it in a credible and appropriate way,” said Paul Greer, a portfolio manager at Fidelity International in London, adding that he expected Mexico’s bonds and peso to do well.

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