<b>Mexico - Wiring-up retail investors</b>
||Headline: Mexico - Wiring-up retail investors
Date: March 2000
Author: Andrea Mandel-Campbell
The Mexican stockmarket is modernizing. Trading went electronic last year and spreads quickly narrowed. It has a growth company section and a derivatives market. What's more Mexican stocks boomed in 1999 and are still rising this year, clawing back the steep losses of 1994. Inflows from foreign investors have been the driving force. Now Mexican brokers are hoping to attract long-ignored domestic retail buyers via the internet. Yet the danger remains that Mexico's leading companies may increasingly trade off-shore. Andrea Mandel-Campbell reports
For Celestino Marquez, investing in the Mexican Stock Exchange had never been an option. Like the vast majority of Mexicans, the 35-year-old accountant found commissions high and the $30,000 to $100,000 minimum quota to open an account at a local brokerage prohibitive. In February, though, he joined a small but growing number of Mexican investors tapping into the otherwise exclusive exchange through new online trading services. Although automatic routing will not be technically in operation until April, three of Mexico's largest banks and their respective brokerages have already leapt ahead of rivals by aggressively hawking the faster, cheaper and more efficient system in full-page newspaper ads and radio spots.
Mexican trading: 60% is done offshore