November 1, 2018 / 11:48 PM / 11 days ago

Mexico president-elect's team will not tap international reserves

MEXICO CITY, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Mexico’s next government will not seek to tap the central bank’s international reserves to finance public spending and investment, the incoming finance minister Carlos Urzua said on Wednesday.

President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, set to take office on Dec. 1, on Monday said he had decided to heed the results of an informal referendum that called for abandoning a multi-billion dollar airport project for Mexico City, sending Mexican markets down sharply.

Local media and analysts have speculated that Lopez Obrador’s government could try to hold another public vote of the use of the reserves.

“No, no, no, the international reserves won’t be touched, they’re the central bank’s,” Urzua said when asked about the reports.

Benjamin Robles, a lower house lawmaker from the small leftist Labor Party that is an ally of Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party, has submitted a bill to change the Bank of Mexico’s mandate to include economic growth and employment.

Currently the Bank of Mexico targets 3 percent inflation.

Robles said the central bank’s mandate should be changed to promote growth, similar to the U.S. Federal Reserve, but he said it was a “lie” that he had called for a public vote on the use of central bank reserves. (Reporting by Sharay Angulo; editing by Grant McCool)

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