North America

Mexico’s new Finance Minister Rogelio Ramirez de la O pledged to maintain the country’s austerity, making a better use of its resources instead of increasing the debt burden, according to a statement, Bloomberg reported. Ramirez, a longtime ally and third Finance Minister of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, begins what in Mexico is considered the most influential cabinet role with the goal of obtaining a level of independence his predecessors didn’t attain.

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India's central bank has ordered Mastercard to stop adding new customers for failing to comply with the country's data storage rules, escalating a dispute between Indian authorities and U.S. financial services groups over the control of customer data, the Financial Times reported. The Reserve Bank of India said that Mastercard had not complied with rules introduced in 2018 that bar payment companies from transferring customer data overseas. The regulations, which were fiercely resisted by U.S. payment companies, required all financial data to be stored exclusively in India.

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The Bank of Canada on Wednesday held interest rates steady and reduced its bond-buying program, saying the economy needed less help as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, but warned that inflation would be higher than previously forecast in the near-term, Reuters reported. The central bank said economic growth should pick up in the third quarter of 2021 after being weaker than expected in the first half of the year.
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Mexican telecommunications company Altan Redes, which has since 2016 been developing an ambitious telecommunications network built for carriers delivering the latest generation of technology, said on Tuesday that it has filed for bankruptcy, Reuters reported. The shared network is part of a reform to the sector aimed at curbing the dominance of the giant America Movil, controlled by the family of billionaire Carlos Slim, and improving the low levels of mobile phone penetration and network coverage.
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Mexican businessman Miguel Aleman Magnani is residing in France and fighting an arrest warrant in his native country on charges of tax fraud, his lawyer said Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported. Aleman Magnani is accused by Mexican authorities of not paying 65 million pesos ($3.2 million) in taxes dating back to 2018 that the airline he co-founded, Interjet, collected from customers and employees but failed to forward to the government. Aleman Magnani has no intention to travel to Mexico for the time being. “It’s not clear that Mr.
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Canadian municipalities reeling from a pandemic-driven hit to revenues are facing an added blow from surging liability insurance costs, forcing them to raise property taxes or even cut services for residents, Reuters reported. The increase in premiums, about 20% to 30% in many cases, has been driven by a shrinking pool of insurers, more claims in an increasingly litigious climate and uncertainty around payout amounts.
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There were fewer corporate restructurings and bankruptcies among small and medium businesses in Canada last year compared to 2019. This was directly related to government initiatives that supported financially vulnerable businesses, delaying bankruptcy for many, according to a Toronto Star commentary. However, when the stimulus and government support come to an end, those businesses that were already vulnerable will find that repaying both pre-coronavirus and post-coronavirus debt may not be possible, and that the possibility of bankruptcy looms large.
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The European Union has agreed to delay a corporate tax plan for the bloc following pressure from the U.S. administration and in a bid to facilitate a broader global tax deal, but EU member Ireland reiterated its criticisms of the wider reform, Reuters reported. The world's 20 largest economies endorsed on Saturday a plan for a global overhaul of corporate tax that would introduce a minimum tax rate and change the way large companies like Amazon and Google are taxed, based partly on where they sell their products and services rather than on the location of their headquarters.
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European Union antitrust regulators may revamp decades-old rules covering the market power of companies to take into account cases such as when tech giants offer products for free while harvesting users' data, or the impact of deals on innovation. Reuters reported. The comments from the European Commission on Monday followed feedback from national competition watchdogs, experts and other parties during a 16-month consultation of the Commission's rule known as the market definition notice.
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Aeromexico said on Friday a group of Mexican shareholders and business people had informed the airline they aimed to participate in a major capital raising as part of the company's Chapter 11 restructuring process in the United States, Reuters reported. Aeromexico in a statement said it was unaware that any agreement had been reached so far, but would provide details as and when one was in place. It also noted it expected the investment to be "substantial, controlling and long-term." Delta Airlines, which owned a noncontrolling 51% stake in Aeromexico as of Dec. 31, declined to comment.
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