Lopez Obrador appoints new finance minister and head of the Central Bank

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has appointed Rogelio Ramirez de la O, a consultant who lacks experience in the public sector, as a replacement for Finance Minister Arturo Herrera, who has been transferred to run the country’s central bank.

Besides officials, López Obrador praised Ramírez de la O’Ve a Video on Wednesday as “Master of Economics . . . experienced and earnest”.

Ramirez de la O, 72, is the Managing Director of Ecanal, a private Mexican consultancy, and holds a PhD from Cambridge. He is a longtime ally of the president and has been designated to become finance minister if Lopez Obrador wins elections in 2006 and 2012.

However, he declined calls to take over the portfolio after Lopez Obrador became president in 2018.

Some analysts were skeptical about the choice. “He literally has no hands-on experience,” said Eduardo Suarez, vice president for Latin American economics at Scotiabank.

The peso was partially devalued after the announcement. Mexican financial markets rebounded this week after Sunday’s midterm elections, in which Lopez Obrador participated شارك Failed to uphold the two-thirds majority In the House of Representatives, which deprives him of the ability to change the Constitution at will.

He is not expected to oppose Ramirez de la or Lopez Obrador Economic vision, especially in energy, where the populist president favors oil companies and state-run utilities over private investment.

Lopez Obrador reiterated that there will be no change in his priorities: no debts, taxes or energy price increases, and “the poor are first”.

This means he’ll have to keep playing. Lopez Obrador has cut spending to the limit and spent his savings on rainy days, said Gabriela Seiler, head of economic analysis at Banco Base. Pouring resources into pensionsScholarships and infrastructure projects for pets.

However, the economy of Mexico Rebound from Covid-19 It is expected to grow by as much as 6.5 percent this year, after declining by 8.5 percent in 2020.

“If he has been in the president’s office for two and a half years, Rogelio should know the game plan for public spending very well,” said Alonso Cervera, chief Latin American economist at Credit Suisse. “It is very likely that it will enable the president’s ideas related to the energy sector.”

Herrera said Ramirez de la Ou is likely to draw up the budget, which must be submitted by September. Also pending was a tax reform that senior government sources said would not include wealth or inheritance taxes.

Alejandro Diaz de Leon, the current central bank governor, is set to leave his post in December. Lopez Obrador said he announced his replacement beforehand to avoid jitters in the market.

If confirmed by the Senate, Herrera – who counts ex-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke among his most important influencers – will complete a lineup of non-Banxico insiders on the central bank’s board. López Obrador had stressed the need for a “moral economist” at the helm.

Herrera is well known to investors, but his closeness to the president makes his ability to maintain central bank independence less clear. He said he expected to remain in his current position for another month.

Diaz de Leon launched a tough defense last year when lawmakers pushed through a bill that would have had his Forced the central bank to absorb the dollar That the banks could not bring it home.

“I think Herrera has proven to be wise, earning the trust of the markets,” said Scotiabank’s Suarez. But he added, “He will have to work hard to signal a strong independence from the government.”

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