Mexico’s new finance minister supports Pemex, but won’t modify laws

Max de Haldevang and Justin Villamil September 02, 2021

(Bloomberg) --Mexico’s new Finance Minister Rogelio Ramirez de la O said he will continue support for state oil giant Pemex, but it’s too late to change the country’s oil laws.

“The government is in full position to keep supporting Pemex,” Ramirez de la O said at a Moody’s event Thursday. But the government will also “get closer to Pemex to give them more feedback for things that are necessary to do and necessary to reorder, and we’re working on that.” 

As the government pushes for a constitutional reform to electricity laws, Ramirez de la O said now “would be a little late” to change overall energy laws that last decade gave private companies access to the Mexican market. In his first three years in power, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador made reversing this legislation one of the main goals of his agenda.

The comments, in one of Ramirez de la O’s first public appearances after being confirmed by congress last month, suggest he is trying to have a greater influence than his predecessors over how Pemex uses government aid.

Obrador has poured billions into the company, the world’s most indebted oil firm, since taking office in 2018, but it was downgraded further into its junk credit rating by Moody’s last month.

He added that it’s critical to keep up the government’s fiscal prudence and to rebuild emergency stabilization funds used during the pandemic.

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