The International Monetary Fund approved a $72bn credit line for Mexico on Monday as a safety net for Latin America’s second-largest economy in case of more global financial turmoil, Mexico’s central bank and finance ministry said.
President Felipe Calderón asked the Washington-based lender in December to extend the country’s current credit facility from about $48bn to $72bn over two years.
“The availability of this financing contingency will allow Mexico to further strengthen its economy in 2011 and 2012 in the face of any risk linked to the global economic and financial outlook,” the central bank and finance ministry said in a joint statement.
Mr Calderón is pushing for a balanced budget in 2012, but Agustin Carstens, Mexico’s central bank governor, has warned that weak growth in Europe and the US is a risk for the country.
The IMF facility aims to be a backstop should investors lose confidence in emerging markets or rush back into havens such as US Treasuries this year or next, but Mexico is not expected to draw on the credit for the foreseeable future.