The percentage of Mexican states without a company listed on the stock exchange is currently 69%. What can be done to change this?
Many companies around the country are not willing to participate in the Mexican stock exchange and go public. Many businesses are family businesses, and they may want to keep things in the family for security or cultural reasons or to simply maintain tradition. If Mexico is to keep growing, however, companies will need financing in order to expand and grow. Our task is to help bring these companies into the stock exchange, both the old and new ones. It is not just about being listed in equities, but also about the debt market. We are collaborating with the Mexican Association of Securities Intermediaries (AMIB) to visit every state in Mexico to speak with companies and convince them of the benefits of listing and participating in the stock exchange, not just in terms of equities but also in terms of debt. We want to show them how easy and beneficial the process is. The BMV is not as big as other stock exchanges around the world; our total value in terms of equities is only 40% of the Mexican GDP. We are preparing to launch a new instrument named FIBRA E that is expected to help increase the size and value of the BMV, and it is designed to attract companies from the energy sector in particular.
How important are SMEs for the economic development of the country and how can BMV assist them?
Small businesses account for 95% of employment in Mexico, making it the most important sector in terms of employment and possibly GDP. Historically, the use of banking and other financing sources in Mexico have been low compared to other countries. But that has been changing over the past five years, as such kinds of finance have gone up from 22% to 28%, which is mainly due to banks lending more to small companies. Low interest rates have also helped recently. Banking finance is expected to continue growing, mainly based on credit to small businesses, and we want this positive development to also translate into the stock market, both in terms of debt and equity. The aim is to provide companies with liquidity, and we need to find ways to make this more available to a greater portion of companies.
How has the integration of Mexico into MILA evolved and what is its significance for BMV?
Integration has been slow, because we have to convince investors in those countries to buy shares of a Mexican company, and also educate them as to what MILA is. This is why we are putting a strong emphasis on publicity, because investors need to understand and become acquainted with investment opportunities in countries other than their own. We are also promoting MILA worldwide; we visited Frankfurt and London recently to promote the union. MILA has a bright future considering the size of the economies involved and the large market the four create once united. Mexico is the second largest market in Latin America after Brazil, and by working together with Chile, Colombia, and Peru, it is a huge market on a global scale. We are also integrated with those countries in the Pacific Alliance. If we are to realize the potential that MILA and the Pacific Alliance offer, however, we need to ensure that all of these countries' stock markets have growth potential in order to be able to finance the companies operating in them. In these countries, there are many truly multinational Latin American companies, operating in a region with similar historical, cultural, social, and political environments. These types of alliances and initiatives can help deepen that integration and facilitate business further across borders.