Josef Koberl
Senior Vice President and Country Manager Mexico
Comerica Bank
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View from the Top

US Financing Experience Helping the National Market Grow

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 10:38

Q: How attractive have Comerica’s leasing solutions been among clients that want to upgrade their available infrastructure?

A: Although Comerica does not directly offer leases in Mexico, we have established strategic alliances with several leasing companies to carry out leasing operations, in which Comerica funds the transactions through a discount on our clients’ lease agreements. Since our alliances are with the main leasing companies in the country, the contracts available to our clients through this program are very competitive compared to the conditions of the leasing market in Mexico.

Q: How do you help companies find the best ways to finance their operations?

A: For over 165 years, Comerica has actively supported the manufacturing sector in the US Midwest, and we have significant experience and specialization in the automotive sector. In Mexico, our representative office was established in Monterrey to support our Mexican-based customers, which includes several automotive clients. Over the years, we have developed long-term relationships and cooperated closely with manufacturing companies. In terms of products and services, we provide a variety of loan types that give our customers flexibility in managing their finances. In Mexico, Comerica offers commercial banking products and services; we are not active in structuring capital markets transactions. From the financing standpoint, we offer working capital lines and equipment financing facilities with different structures that can be adapted to the needs of our customers.

Q: How do you support national players looking to grow their operations and international companies looking to establish in Mexico?

A: Comerica is a bank with integrated commercial services throughout Canada, Mexico and the US. With established business operations in all three countries and a dedicated International Finance group, we make doing business across borders simple, streamlined and efficient. We understand the nuances of international investment and cross-border trade, and can help our customers hedge risks and increase profitability. In Mexico, we have adjusted our service offer to fit the needs of our local clients. We offer a variety of financial products such as US$ Financing, Supply Chain Finance, Letters of Credit, FX and Forwards, as well as Treasury Management Services. As for international clients seeking to establish or expand in Mexico, we have worked proactively with other departments in the international area of Comerica, serving European, Asian and US clients to identify their needs and address them in a timely manner.

Q: What are the biggest challenges Comerica faces amid the economic uncertainty created by the Trump administration?

A: The expectations for and the results of the US elections, their effect on the country’s relationship with Mexico and the volatility that was generated in the exchange rate caused several of our customers to delay their investments since mid-2016. Despite these factors, we have seen that in recent months our clients are resuming their investments. We hope that the NAFTA negotiations that began in August 2017 will conclude with reasonable terms for all three countries. One of our challenges will be to adapt efficiently to the changes in the needs of our clients and to be competitive against local banks in products for risk hedging.

Q: How fruitful has the Mexican market been for Comerica’s development and what are your expectations for the automotive sector?

A: Throughout more than 25 years in Mexico, Comerica has established long-term relationships with clients in diverse sectors, especially automotive and manufacturing. The Mexican market has always been relevant for Comerica Bank. The new arrival of massive investment from automotive OEMs into Mexico presents several attractive opportunities. Many of our current clients in the US are establishing subsidiaries and manufacturing facilities in Mexico, which has allowed us to develop close relationships with key players in this industry. We have initiated relationships with new customers, as well as expanded our relationships with existing clients.