MARÍA ARIZA

Mexico 2021 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

By focusing more on technology and modernizing the securities market, BIVA expects to better promote the stock exchange and increase financial inclusion in Mexico.

María Ariza
BIOGRAPHY

María Ariza is CEO of BIVA. She was previously CEO of the Mexican Private Equity Association (AMEXCAP), worked on the investment team of NAFTA Fund of Mexico, LP, was director of the project office at Grupo Impulso, and was strategic planning manager at the APEC Organizing Committee. Additionally, she is founding partner of Facial Design S.A. de C.V.; partner and board member of Grupo Salus S.A. de C.V.; partner and board member of Crediauto Financial; partner and board member of Muventa SAPI de CV; partner and board member of Matterscale; partner and board member of KL Studios; and partner of Cervecería Colima SAPI de CV. She also participates on the boards of several academic institutions. She has a master's degree in management from Harvard University and is an industrial engineer from Universidad Iberoamericana.

Why is 2021 a crucial year for the economic recovery of Mexico?

This year will be crucial for the economic recovery of Mexico and the world. The actions taken by governments now to encourage dynamism and reactivation will be decisive in achieving this goal. Although the end of the pandemic and its global effects are not yet in sight, we are confident that the progress in the vaccination of the population will generate an environment of greater certainty, which will be reflected in a progressive economic reactivation, job recovery and greater market activity. In the case of Mexico, in addition to external factors impacting the economy, several analysts have expressed concern about certain government policy decisions. Therefore, it is essential that the authorities and the private sector work together to create a strategy focused on generating greater certainty and security, strengthening the image of our country abroad and increasing Mexico's investment potential. The macroeconomic and investment landscape has seen significant changes since the pandemic. All indications are that the Bank of Mexico will continue to lower or maintain low interest rates, reaching ranges of between 3.5% and 4.0%, in an attempt to reactivate the economy. For this reason, fixed-income instruments will have low rates that may not cover inflation. In this environment, investors will seek to diversify their portfolios by including equity instruments so that their money does not lose purchasing power over time. For the coming and following years, the most attractive sectors are expected to be those with the most disruptive technology. The sectors I am specifically referring to are healthcare technology, green or sustainable technology, fintech, and the 5G network. This challenges us and gives us the opportunity to list more companies in these sectors on the stock exchange. It is essential to send the right messages so that foreign investors bet more on Mexico. We have competitive conditions that place us in an advantageous position with respect to other markets. As part of this effort required to stimulate the market, BIVA has been very active. We have been working continuously to encourage the growth and development of the market, approaching local and international investors and providing them with relevant information about the advantages of the Mexican market, the country's competitive conditions, and the opportunities to make investments.

What kind of investments has BIVA continued to make toward its digitalization?

This year we plan to continue innovating as we have done since we started operations. As a clear example of this, in 2021 we launched BIVA Cloud, an innovative platform for the distribution of financial and stock market information. It includes valuable topics such as digital marketing, investment and financing trends, economic data, market share and data, or characteristics of the different instruments, among others. We live in an ecosystem that is constantly being updated, which is why BIVA Cloud supports the digital transformation necessary to survive and adapt to the coming years, driving the development and growth of Mexican business and the economy as a whole. As its name suggests, it works using data in the cloud, making information available worldwide. The data is available through APIs, which benefits the integration of information from various sources and provides greater speed in the implementation of the information for the applications that use it. It is an accessible and robust platform, capable of supporting real-time information distribution. It helps eliminate barriers to entry for new entrants and reduce costs for existing ones. With BIVA Cloud, we seek to evolve, generating better product offerings for intermediaries, investors, and issuing companies. We aim to attract a greater number of participants and thus foster the growth and modernization of the securities market.