Magazine article American Banker

Bank Group Set to Renew Lending to Mexico

Magazine article American Banker

Bank Group Set to Renew Lending to Mexico

Article excerpt

Chase Manhattan Corp. today is scheduled to syndicate the first unguaranteed loan to a Mexican government corporation by foreign banks in a decade.

A Chase spokesman in New York confirmed that the syndication of a $100 million short-term loan to Petroleos Mexicanos will be signed in New York today, but declined to provide further details.

The willingness of banks to renew unguaranteed lending to Mexican government companies -- after writing off billions in bad loans in recent years -- reflects growing confidence in the improving creditworthiness of Mexico.

"This shows banks are feeling more comfortable with the Mexican market," said one U.S. banker in Mexico City. (A special report on banking in Mexico starts on page 1A.)

Reluctance to Lend

Although U.S. banks have been quick to underwrite capital markets issues for Mexican companies, they have moved cautiously in extending new loans.

Earlier this month, Bank-America Corp. syndicated a $218 million, five-year trade credit to Comision Federal de Electricidade, the state-owned electricity corporation.

However, with the exception of a $1 billion bridge loan syndicated by J.P. Morgan & Co. last year to a privately owned brokerage firm to fund the acquisition of Bancomer, Mexico's second-largest bank, all loans, including the one syndicated by BankAmerica, have been guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Petroleos Mexicanos, the Mexican oil company better known as Pemex, plans to use the loan t finance imports of oil and gas equipment. …

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