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Banks Under Scrutiny for Bond Price Manipulation in Mexico


The Investigative Authority of the Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission (“COFECE”) is conducting an enquiry on seven banks to find proof of a possible collusion to manipulate bond prices. As reported by Bloomberg, none of the banks have been accused so far.

The authority first announced the investigation in Apr 2017. It seeks to find out if the banks that buy notes from the government at auctions colluded to suppress prices. It also plans to investigate whether the banks coordinated in order to reduce the price and raise yields for holders, leading to higher interest rates for the government and companies.

Per the report, the local units of JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, Bank of America Corp. BAC, Citigroup Inc. C, Banco Santander SAN, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, HSBC Holdings plc HSBC and Barclays PLC BCS are under the focus of COFECE.

Some of the above mentioned banks received requests to provide information on the matter. The report also said that one of the institutions agreed to provide details in order to get lighter punishment.

The highest fine imposed by COFECE for such practices is about 10% of the concerned company’s annual income. Also, the people involved would face five to10 years in prison.

Currently, HSBC and Banco Santander hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) while JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and Barclays carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here

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