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Mexico’s Cordero Expects Central Bank to Diversify Assets

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Mexican Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero said the nation’s reserves haven’t lost value due to market volatility and that its credit rating won’t be affected by a downgrade of the U.S. by Standard & Poor’s.

“We don’t believe that this event has affected the outlook on Mexico’s rating for the moment,” Cordero wrote in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News. “Going forward, we expect Banco de Mexico to continue its policy of risk management and diversification.”

Mexico’s benchmark IPC stock index plunged 5.9 percent to 31,715.78 today, following declines in worldwide markets after S&P downgraded the U.S. to AA+ from AAA on Aug. 5. The peso weakened 2.8 percent against the U.S. dollar to 12.3251.

Cordero said Mexico’s credit rating of BBB by S&P won’t be affected by the downgrade in the U.S., which buys about 80 percent of Mexico’s exports. Mexico can partially offset a weaker U.S. economy by stimulating domestic demand and diversifying trade, especially with faster growing emerging markets, he said.

“We were able to maintain important growth rates despite the weakness observed in the U.S. in the first half,” he said.

Mexico’s economy probably expanded 3.5 percent in the second quarter and will grow 4.3 percent this year, according to forecasts from the Finance Ministry. The economy grew 4.6 percent in the first quarter.

U.S. gross domestic product grew 1.3 percent in the second quarter and 0.4 percent in the first quarter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan J. Levin in Mexico City at jlevin20@bloomberg.net; Jonathan Roeder at jroeder@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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