The below information is provided as a general and informative background to business practices in Mexico, and should not be considered legal advice or your sole source of information. Wherever possible you are encouraged to utilize the services of a professional.
The Mexican Stock Exchange (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores) is a private institution governed by the Mexican Securities Market Act. Any foreign individual can invest in Mexican securities listed on the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores directly through authorized Mexican brokerage firms or through the acquisition of American Depository Receipts (ADR's) in the U.S.
Investments in the Bolsa are limited to only "series A" issued stocks or ADR's. The Mexican Stock Exchange has approximately 250 issuers of paper with an index of only 40 companies, which are actively traded. There is also an intermediate market of issuers (closely held and medium sized companies), which tends to be narrow and not actively traded.
Investment Instruments for Foreigners:
- ADR's (American Depository Receipts): ADR's are negotiable receipts for the securities of a foreign company, which are kept in the vaults of an American bank, allowing Americans to trade the foreign securities in the United States while accruing any dividends and capital gains. You may also buy Mexican mutual funds such as Fondo Mexico currently listed in the NYSE.
- Mexican Stocks: nominal certificates representing one of the equal parts into which a company's capital stock is divided, with rights and obligations on the part of the stockholders. They have no maturity date, and yields are determined by the payment of cash dividends and companies overall performance.
- Cetes (Federal Treasury Certificates): these are bearer credit certificates that oblige the Mexican federal government to pay the bearer the face value when the certificate matures. CETES are issued at terms of up to 2 years. The yield will depend on market conditions, and the principal is repaid in a single installment.
Where do you buy Mexican securities?
- You may purchase ADR's in the U.S. from any brokerage house or licensed broker dealer.
- You may also buy individual shares and government issued bonds through a Mexican brokerage firm. Individuals interested in investing in securities listed on the Mexican Bolsa should contact any of the main Mexican brokerage firms or establish contact through a major U.S. brokerage firm.
Commissions to Mexican brokerage houses range between 1-1.5% of the trade (buy/sell).