Foreign capital outflows hit a record high in 2021

Analyst attributes the exit to aversion to risk in the Mexican economy

Foreign capital outflows of Mexican debt hit a record high of more than US $12.6 billion last year, central bank data shows.

The Bank of México published data Tuesday that showed there were debt instrument capital outflows of 257.6 billion pesos (US $12.64 billion) in 2021.

The outflows, slightly higher than those in 2020, were the highest since such data was first recorded in 1992.

The value of government securities in foreign hands declined 13.6% last year, 1.7% higher than in 2020. That was the biggest annual decline since 2000, according to data compiled by Banco Base.

Balance of payments data to be published later this year will give a broader picture of foreign capital movements in 2021.

The record outflows of Mexican debt came as the economy recovered from the sharp downturn of 2020, but not as strongly as expected.

GDP contracted in the third quarter of last year compared to the previous quarter (although it increased on an annual basis), and the Bank of México cut its 2021 growth forecast to 5.4% from 6.2%. Data on fourth quarter growth has not yet been published, meaning that the overall performance of the economy last year is not known.

Gabriela Siller, director of economic analysis at Banco Base, said the outflows of foreign capital in the debt market were due to “aversion to risk” in the Mexican economy.

“This is due to the low growth but also government initiatives. This year we have the debate about the electricity reform [which would favor the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission over private companies] so it’s highly probable that the aversion to risk and the capital flight will continue,” she said

With reports from El País

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