(Adds Tellez comments, details on possible IPOs, economic outlook)
By Elinor Comlay and Gabriel Stargardter
MEXICO CITY, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Mexico’s stock exchange, which is experiencing a record year, expects up to five more stock offerings in 2013 on top of four already in the works, Chief Executive Luis Tellez said on Monday.
“Approximately three companies have confirmed confidentially that they want to list,” Tellez told Reuters in an interview. “There will probably be one or two more, but three have already confirmed.”
The stock exchange is currently working on applications from dairy producer Lala, investment bank Banco Interacciones, hotel group Grupo Hotelero Santa Fe and real estate investment trust, or FIBRA, Grupo Danhos, according to the companies or to filings with the stock exchange.
Mexican FIBRAs and companies including airline Volaris and gas company IEnova have raised almost $10 billion through 15 initial public offerings and follow-on offerings this year, an all-time record for Latin America’s second-biggest economy.
Tellez declined to say what companies filed confidential applications.
Mexican companies have raised a record amount of money in the equity market this year even amid an economic slowdown and concerns over U.S. monetary policy that have led to recent routs in emerging market stocks.
“The fundamentals in Mexico are very strong,” said Tellez, noting that Mexico’s stock market is down only 3 percent year-to-date in dollar terms, compared to much larger drops in other countries.
“What’s important is that companies see growth opportunities and they want to have a capital base and a better debt-to-equity ratio with which to expand,” he added. “I have a positive view on Mexico’s economy, as do the companies that are listing and as does the market, which is buying these companies.”
Since taking office last December, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has proposed a slew of reforms to tackle the lack of competition in Mexico’s telecom and energy sectors, as well as a tax overhaul that will introduce a capital gains tax, among other measures aimed at boosting the country’s coffers.
Tellez said he does not expect the capital gains tax to crimp the growth of Mexico’s equity market, noting, “It’s not in any way an inhibitory tax, it’s a tax that can be paid perfectly well.” (Reporting by Elinor Comlay and Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)