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Mexico reaps the rewards and pays the price of US ties

Mexico has prospered through ever-closer links to the US, which has been the main market for its booming exports. Seven years on from its own crisis, Mexico now appears strong enough to shrug off any contagion from Argentina. The downside, though, is that Mexico will now suffer if the US economy goes into a deep and prolonged downturn. Faults in its economy may yet be revealed.

       
Mexico City: a boom town since entering
Nafta after the peso crisis

Alberto Gomez gazes from his glass-walled office at the manicured lawns of Mexico City's new financial district, Santa Fe. "It could be Houston, Texas, couldn't it," muses the chief economist at Banamex, Mexico's second-largest bank.


Against the mountain backdrop, elegant new skyscrapers glint in the sun. Gomez is beaming. He has just helped clinch Citigroup's $12.5 billion takeover of Banamex-Accival, or Banacci, as it's known. Concluded in May, this was the biggest corporate deal in Mexican history and the largest financial services acquisition in an emerging market.


The Santa Fe district was once a sprawling waste tip picked over for anything saleable by the poor. It's transformation is tangible evidence of the strides that the Mexican banking system and the economy as a whole have made after decades of financial crisis, including the catastrophic peso crisis in 1994.



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