“I’m terrified,” said one Mexican fund manager dealing with high net worth individuals in Mexico. He was talking about Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, better known as AMLO. He’s been president for all of four months, but according to one money manager who did not want to be quoted on the record on this issue, he “has never seen” so many rich Mexicans taking money out of the country and parking it in the U.S.
Since he took over in December, AMLO has canceled a new and much-needed Mexico City airport on account of concerns that the contracts were crony capitalism and those days are over. Lenders to the developers panicked. Some members of his party, the National Regeneration Movement, said AMLO would tax or ban certain bank fees. During his campaign he said he would review the previous president’s policy to open offshore oil drilling to foreigners, a business once solely in the hands of Pemex, an oil company barely firing on all four cylinders. As everyone knows, the market hated all of these things.
Yet, the pueblos loved AMLO. Obrador is by far the most popular president in all of the Americas. No one comes close.
“I’m not terrified,” says Jin Zhang, a portfolio manager at Vontobel Quality Growth, a $30 billion family of funds that is part of Vontobel Asset Management in New York. “To us, it looks like so far so good for AMLO.”
Over the last four weeks, AMLO added to investor concerns that he might be more left of center than perceived. On March 26th, he demanded Spain and the Vatican apologize for years of colonization and the destruction and later outcasting of indigenous communities from the Mexican power structure. It sounded like the group of Democrats calling for reparations for slavery.
The Mazatlan Post