New Mexico City airport seen as test for Amlo
Investors hoping new president adopts pragmatic approach; proposed referendum raises more questions than answers.
A 'devil' with two aeroplanes is held aloft during a protest against the new Mexico City airport
The fate of Mexico City’s New International Airport (NAIMC) is being seen by investors and bankers as a litmus test for the conciliatory approach to the markets taken by the incoming president.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Amlo) notably moderated his anti-markets’ rhetoric that he had adopted in the election campaign when making his victory speech on July 1.
Amlo deliberately used his victory speech to placate international investors by emphasizing the independence of the Mexican central bank and pledging to maintain fiscal discipline.
The comments saw the Mexican peso rally in the week after his victory.
His remarks also raised hopes that he might walk back his promise to scrap the project to build a new international airport on the outskirts of Mexico City.
Much of this expectation rested not on expected philosophical change but from a practical recognition.
“There are signed contracts for about 80% of the project and so it wouldn’t make any sense to cancel at this point,” is one typical response made by a banker who worked on the airport’s $6 billion-worth of international bonds.