This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Betting On the Mexican Markets Boom

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Mexican markets have been sizzling. During the past year, iShares MSCI Mexico (EWW) returned 22.5%, compared to 12.3% for the MSCI EAFE international index, according to Morningstar.

A strong economic showing has been boosting Mexican stocks. According to the IMF, the country's gross domestic product grew 3.8% in 2012. That's a notable performance at a time when much of the developed world is struggling to grow at 2% rates.

Can the Mexican markets keep climbing so rapidly? Maybe not. After the rally, the stocks are no longer cheap. The Mexico ETF has a forward price-earnings ratio of 16.3. In comparison iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM) has a P/E of 11.2.

Still, investors should not ignore Mexico, which has become one of the most dynamic economies in the world. Corporate earnings in the country are growing at a 14% annual rate. While the ETF could be volatile, there is a clear case for owning Mexican stocks as part of a broader portfolio. "Mexico will still report a lot of growth," says Sophie Bosch, portfolio manager of JPMorgan Latin America Fund (JLTAX), a mutual fund.

Much of Mexico's recent strength has come from manufacturing. Factories are opening to produce auto parts, televisions, and refrigerators. A decade ago, the picture was very different, as businesses left to find cheaper costs in China. According to HSBC (HSB), workers in China cost employers 32 cents an hour in 2000 vs. $1.51 in Mexico. But then in the next decade, China boomed, and labor costs skyrocketed, reaching $1.63 in 2011. At the same time, Mexico grew at a slower pace, and costs increased to $2.10.

Even though wages may still be a bit higher in Mexico, the country now has an edge over China because of transportation costs. While it takes up to three months to ship products from China to the U.S., Mexican goods can arrive north of the border in two days.

As oil prices have climbed in recent years, the cost of moving goods across the Pacific has mushroomed. In addition, the value of the Chinese currency has climbed against the dollar. That has made Chinese goods more expensive for U.S. buyers.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
EEM $42.70 0.00%
EWW $59.60 0.00%
FMX $93.74 0.00%
AAPL $124.75 0.00%
FB $80.78 0.00%


DOW 17,826.30 -279.47 -1.54%
S&P 500 2,081.18 -23.81 -1.13%
NASDAQ 4,931.8150 -75.9760 -1.52%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs