Mexico's Banorte president optimistic about NAFTA renegotiation

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(Reuters) - Mexico's Grupo Financiero Banorte GFNORTEO.MX hopes the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be rewritten to benefit the country and its banking sector, its president Carlos Hank Gonzalez said on Thursday.

The group, which owns the largest financial institution owned by Mexican investors, reported a 23-percent increase in profits for the second quarter, helped by positive performance in its key sectors of consumer and corporate credit.

Canada, the United States and Mexico will start renegotiating the terms of the trade agreement that has shaped business between the three countries for more than two decades after President Donald Trump threatened to tear up the agreement if it did not benefit businesses and employment in the United States.

“I believe the trade agreement needs some changes to modernize it, to adapt it to new challenges of globalization,” Gonzalez said, adding that there was less uncertainty than at the beginning of the year now that there are guidelines for the talks.

“I believe it would be an error to take a step back, close the country (to globalization) and its borders,” he added.

The banker said a favorably renegotiated trade agreement could indirectly help companies in Mexico’s financial sector to grow.

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Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Sandra Maler