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Investment Grade on Mexico Debt

February 8, 2002

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Standard & Poor’s gave Mexico an investment grade on its long-term foreign debt Thursday, a decision that President Vicente Fox said would help attract a bevy of new investors.

In granting the rating, New York-based Standard & Poor cited this country’s improved policy mix and growing independence from the U.S. economy.

In a statement, Fox called Standard and Poor’s rating ``a recognition of what Mexico now is″ and said that the rating agency ``recognizes the work that has been done in the management of the economy.″

``I venture to say that Mexico is the best country in the world in which to invest because it is the only country that has free-trade agreements with the two largest markets in the world _ the U.S. and Canadian market, and Europe,″ he said.

Coming at a time when Mexico is grappling with the effects of recession at home and in the United States, the upgraded rating is expected to help improve Mexico’s access to cheaper borrowing rates.

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