February 2012

Mexico launches effort to rebrand the country

BBC - President Felipe Calderon has called in a British expert on country branding for advice, and the country's tourism industry is now headed by a man who has worked for some of the biggest consumer brands in the world.

New violence breaks out at prison after massacre

AP - Inmates set fire to mattresses and trash Tuesday after officials announced that three prisoners would be moved from the prison where 44 gang members were massacred this week to a maximum security jail in western Mexico.


Wal-Mex forecasts 13-15% growth in 2012

Bloomberg - Wal-Mart de Mexico is forecasting that sales will grow 13 percent to 15 percent this year, Chief Executive Officer Scot Rank said. The company will open 410 to 436 stores and increase floor space by 12 percent in Mexico.

Stocks dip sharply on concerns on Greek bailout

Dow Jones - Mexican stocks ended sharply lower Tuesday as caution prevailed over the bailout for heavily indebted Greece, which must push through harsh austerity measures in the years ahead. The IPC index dropped 1.1 percent to 37,859 points.


Mexichem 2011 profit suffers on foreign exchange losses

Dow Jones - Mexican chemical and plastic maker Mexichem reported Tuesday sharply lower net profit for the fourth quarter and full-year 2011, as foreign exchange losses curbed the firm's profitability.


Elektra, Western Union sign money transfer agreement

PRNewswire - Grupo Elektra, Latin America's leading financial services company and specialty retailer, and Western Union announced a new long-term money transfer agreement in Mexico under a non-exclusive basis.


Mexico City tries to lure residents to historic center after long absence

By Lauren Villagran / Smart Planet

Stone palaces gutted and turned into rundown warehouses. Once-handsome apartment buildings occupied by squatters, bereft of basic services. Historic edifices left to abandon.

That was the harsh reality of Mexico City’s centro histórico, the cultural heart of Mexico City and the country itself, even just 10 years ago.

Now the city is trying to reverse roughly six decades of dispersal and decline in the historic center by encouraging the redevelopment of residential housing with tax incentives and city planning efforts.


Genomma Labs offers $834 million for Prestige Brands, maker of Spic and Span


Mexican pharmaceutical products company Genomma said on Tuesday it was offering to buy Prestige Brands Holdings Inc, the maker of Comet and Spic and Span cleaners, for $834 million in cash.

Mexico City-based Genomma said it was offering $16.60 cash per share for Prestige Brands, a premium of 23 percent over Prestige's closing share price on Feb. 17.

Shares in Genomma Lab fell 8 percent after the announcement, while Prestige shares soared 22 percent to $16.48.

The Mexican company, which is due to report fourth-quarter results on Friday, earned 795 million pesos ($62.72 million) in the first three quarters of 2011.

Genomma had 1.776 billion Mexican pesos ($140.12 million) in cash on hand at the end of the third quarter. The company did not say how it planned to finance the deal.

"We expect that we will obtain the necessary financing for the proposed transaction in an expeditious manner," Genomma said in a letter to Prestige.

Prestige, which also sells brands such as Clear Eyes contact lens solution and Compound W wart remover, did not return calls seeking comment.


Wal-Mex reports jump in 4th quarter profit

Reuters - Mexico's top retailer, Wal-Mart de Mexico, reported a better-than-expected increase in fourth-quarter profit on Monday, as new store openings and a pickup in customer spending drove an increase in sales.


Calderon's sister accused of vote fraud

The Telegraph - The president's sister Luisa Maria Calderon has been accused of exchanging cash for votes during a failed election bid last year, after a recording of her apparently discussing the agreements with campaign staff emerged.