Mexico is a land of great opportunity, led by a being a land of great risk. So what are investors supposed to think when the Bank of Mexico cuts its benchmark interest rates?
Mexico’s central bank has now lowered its key benchmark overnight rate by 0.50% to 4.00%. We have used the Google translator tool to show what the bank said in its release, so if there are any typos or wording errors it is something that was “lost in translation.” The notes are as follows:
The Governing Board of the Bank of Mexico has decided to decrease by 50 basis points the target for interbank interest rate one day at a level of 4.0 percent.
The global economy continues to show signs of weakness. The United States expects growth in 2013 to be lower than in 2012 and prevalent major downside risks. In particular, the recovery of economic activity and employment, supported largely by monetary policy, is being affected by the need for fiscal consolidation. In the euro area, economic activity continues to show signs of recovery. In addition, uncertainty remains about the effect on the economic recovery will have the necessary fiscal adjustment, cleaning up the European financial system and the possibility of further political instability, particularly in some peripheral economies. The growth of emerging economies has slowed, but there are still differences between regions. On balance, prevail important downside risks to global economic growth. So, in an environment of slower economic growth, with downward trajectories in international prices of most raw materials and providing for lower levels of inflation, it is anticipated that monetary policy remains accommodative in many advanced and emerging economies. Even, in some cases, additional relaxations could be observed.
As you would expect, there are ETFs and closed-end funds that investors can track for investing in Mexico.
The iShares MSCI Mexico Capped Investable Market (NYSEMKT: EWW) is the key exchange traded fund that tracks Mexico. This trades 2.2 million or so shares per day in New York. It has seen a 0.6% gain to $72.11, and its 52-week trading range is $53.49 to $75.00.
There is also the The Mexico Fund Inc. (NYSE: MXF), a closed-end mutual fund that trades only about 61,000 shares on an average day. It has seen a 0.5% gain to $33.28, and its 552-week range is $21.69 to $33.87. Its assets at the end of February were listed on the website as being $426.89 million, and its price to net asset value was a 0.69% premium at the time.
Lastly, there is the Mexico Equity & Income Fund Inc. (NYSE: MXE), another closed-end mutual find. It has seen a 1.2% gain to $15.78, and its 52-week range is $10.40 to $15.95. Its website shows a net asset value of $17.06, giving it s 9.9% discount to net asset value, based on its most recent closing price. Its net assets were calculated as being $87.7 million, but that was a July 2012 figure.
Jon C. Ogg