In Mexico, a New SWF Aims to Break with Legacy of Graft

February 03, 2015 by Loch Adamson

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Facing myriad challenges, the world’s newest sovereign wealth fund, the Fondo Mexicano del Petróleo para la Estabilización y el Desarrollo (the Mexican Petroleum Fund for Stabilization and Development), kicked off on January 1. It was an unusual genesis for a sovereign wealth fund. In December 2013 members of Mexico’s Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) barricaded the doors to the main chamber at the lower house of Congress in Mexico City. One stripped to his underpants in protest. And there were fisticuffs. The PRD’s aim: Block the passage of a constitutional amendment to overhaul the nation’s energy industry. Eventually lawmakers convened to approve the amendment, which opened Mexico’s oil and gas fields to foreign and private investment for the first time since the 1930s. One result of the pandemonium: President Enrique Peña Nieto of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was persuaded to reassure citizens that cash windfalls…

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