July 9, 2020

Santander highlights resilience and stability in Mexico but warns caution

The Mexican economy "has gained resilience and stability", beyond the current situation, although there is "caution" and lack of investment in sectors such as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and private consumers, warned Héctor Grisi, president on Wednesday Santander Mexico executive.

Although he recognizes "a complex environment", the manager reiterated that Santander has "great confidence in Mexico", which reflects the conclusion of his three-year investment plan for 15,000 million pesos (771 million dollars) in modernization of infrastructure, digitalization and artificial intelligence.

"The main concern we have is that we have much more confidence of people to invest in Mexico. I think that, without a doubt, is our main concern because that is what would start the economy and that is what we think that it's important, "said Grisi, who is also CEO.

The president of Santander Mexico, where he has 17 million clients, rejected the bank's outlook for 2020 as "hopeless," as an analysis by the Standard and Poor's rating agency said last week.

He also recalled the visit to Mexico of Ana Botín, president of Banco Santander, who last week supported the economic management of the first year of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador by highlighting the stability of the peso in terms of the exchange rate and the low inflation rate from Mexico (3.02% in October).

"At the beginning, as in all changes of Government, you always see a slowdown in all the first years, which is normal. This has been a little more pronounced than what we saw when (former President Enrique) Peña Nieto entered, but in the end I see people much more committed to investing, "Grisi said Monday.

The general director of Santander Mexico reiterated that the bank has 100,000 million pesos (5,140 million dollars) available to lend to the infrastructure plan announced by the federal government and the private sector last week.

He predicted that there will be greater dynamism in the economy for the second quarter of next year, especially in the energy sector, so there will be a "much better" 2020 closure than in 2019.

He also noted the importance of closing the new Trade Agreement of Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC) "as soon as possible".

"Of course there are sectors that are not so favored, but that is where the opportunities are. So my opinion is that I think we are prepared to face whatever comes. We have a solid bank, with a solid capital structure," Grisi said. .

When presenting the results of the third quarter of the year, last October, Grisi presumed a performance "particularly gratifying, given the challenging macroeconomic conditions".

The registered net profit reached 5,517 million pesos (283.6 million dollars) in the quarter that closed last September, which represented an increase of 8.3% year-on-year and a sequential decrease of 1.6%.

The main drivers of Santander Mexico's portfolio growth were mortgages, credit card, payroll credit and companies, Grisi said then.

. (tagsToTranslate) Santander (t) resilience (t) stability (t) Mexico (t) warns

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