BUSINESS ABROAD: Free Enterprise in Mexico

Foreign-owned public utilities in Latin America are a chosen prey of nationalizers and a favorite target of Communists. For their troubles most of them earn slim profits. Returns average only 3% a year on investment, compared to 9% for manufacturers and about 20% for oil producers. But now Mexico has launched a new policy to give utilities a break. Reversing the long anti-utility trend, President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines wants to encourage foreign-owned utilities to expand as part of a $500 million plan to treble power production and make private enterprise an equal partner in meeting...

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