Francisco González
Director General
Bancomext
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View from the Top

Providing Financial Access With Good Rates, Accessible Payments

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 10:19

Q: Part of the bank’s mandate is to help SMEs integrate into global production chains. How do you help them improve processes and comply with international standards?
A: Around 88 percent of the companies that we work with are SMEs and the only way to integrate them into the global production chain is through financial intermediaries, either leasing companies or banks. In this regard, we are boosting the financial sector as well as SMEs, providing them the ability to access financial products at good interest rates and accessible payment schedules. We want to maintain the highest possible level of competitiveness and be a benchmark.
Q: How does the bank view the frequent increases in Mexican interest rates?
A: The interesting part of Bancomext’s portfolio is that we can access external financing. In 2015, we placed debt certificates totaling US$1 billion. In 2016, we placed certificates worth US$700 million, which earned the recognition of “Deal of the Year” by the World Finance magazine. We just placed certificates in Mexico totaling MX$7 billion in three and seven-year periods.
Interest rates have risen but margins have narrowed. We operate efficiently and translate this efficiency to the client. We are enjoying better international rates and opportunities and because of this, a significant number of the rates we offer have not been affected.
Q: What opportunities does the creation of Special Economic Zones (ZEEs) offer Bancomext?
A: We see a significant degree of interest in these projects and we are leaders when it comes to the financing of industrial warehouses. We also see opportunities to support the importation of needed machinery. Since we work with export trading agencies we can provide structured support in this regard all around the world.
Q: How is Bancomext collaborating with Mexican companies to reap the benefits and opportunities related to Industry 4.0 (I4.0)?
A: It is important to note that Mexico will be the first country in Latin America with the capacity to fully insert itself into the I4.0 trend. We will be the first country to have a shared network that will provide a substantial percentage of the population with access to the 4G network and with enough spectrum to allow communication in a more efficient and economical manner. The internet of Things (IoT) will allow for a more dynamic communication than what we are used to. In industries, either through Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or through the use of specific communication tools, we will see containers located at different ports communicating, arranging to be delivered at the same time, and the buyer will be able to access all this information with just one click. We already have the hardware and the software components but this is all useless if we do not have the know-how to produce.
Q: How can Mexico become a global export hub?
A: The first step is to develop a solid foundation. A solid value chain, which is a Bancomext goal, implies that the country has solid companies exporting at a global level. If we are already managing all the metal-mechanics and electronics components, then we need to take that extra step and improve our management of materials. We also need to internationalize Mexican companies, which is something we are also working toward. When a company expands its production to other countries it needs a supplier network, so it invites its known suppliers to expand with it. It becomes a virtuous cycle of having more international trade and a greater number of Mexican companies abroad.
Q: 2017 is a year of consolidation for Bancomext. In what other sectors do you expect the bank to participate?
A: Diversification is one of the bank’s pillars, especially toward Latin America. We are also trying to expand and develop our portfolio of financial products and we want to support the development of creative industries and services, while also exploring opportunities offered by e-commerce. We are looking for ways to export Mexican machinery.