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Fox looks to wake up the market

Carlos Slim

Being a minority shareholder in Mexico has never been easy. Despite the promise of high returns on investments against the backdrop of long-term economic growth, the struggle for company information and a say in the running of a company can seem endless.

In the words of one US-based institutional investor, there is "a deeply entrenched disregard for minority shareholders in Mexico. Companies do not want to relinquish control. The system is stacked against us."

Indeed, Vitro, Mexico's biggest glassmaker, recently said it was considering going on a spending spree in China at a time when investors are crying out for the company to cut its $1.6 billion debt.

In the name of accountability, Mexican president Vicente Fox has signed into law a series of capital market reforms aimed at upgrading minority shareholders' rights and better protecting investors' interests.

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