MEXICO CITY Dec 10 Infonavit, Mexico's leading
mortgage lender, plans to hand out between 475,000 and 525,000
credits next year as the country recovers from a deep
Infonavit, a government-backed institution that saves and
lends money on behalf of Mexican workers, expects to lend a
total of 145 billion pesos ($11 billion) in 2010, chief
executive Victor Borras said at an event on Thursday.
This year, Infonavit handed out about 450,000 mortgages,
fewer than its original goal of 500,000, as the economic slump
and rising unemployment led fewer Mexicans to buy homes.
"The Mexican housing industry managed to withstand, not
without costs, one of the worst economic crises ever faced,
thanks to strength built over the past decade," Borras said.
Infonavit's goals are key to the expansion of leading
Mexican homebuilders like Homex (HOMEX.MX) and Geo (GEOB.MX),
most of whose clients depend on the lender for their
Slammed by a drop in U.S. demand, Mexico's economy is
expected to shrink by 7 percent this year before growing about
3 percent in 2010.
Infonavit depends mostly on contributions from employers
for its financing but in recent years has begun to securitize
and sell mortgages to Mexico's private pension funds and other
This year, Infonavit has raised about 11 billion pesos
through mortgage-backed debt placements.
Mexico's banking system has avoided much of the turmoil of
the global credit crisis since its focus has been on
traditional lending rather than risky subprime loans or complex
($1 = 12.97 pesos)
(Reporting by Luis Rojas Mena, editing by Matthew Lewis)