The Institute for Economic Research (IIEc) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York, are releasing the results of their sixth survey of Mexican multinationals today. The survey, conducted during 2017, is part of a long-term study of the rapid global expansion of multinational enterprises (MNEs) from emerging markets.2 The present report focuses on data for the year 2015.

In 2015, the 20 largest Mexican MNEs had foreign assets of US$ 141 billion (Table 1), foreign revenue of US$ 89 billion, and 379,481 foreign employees (Annex I, Table 1). The two largest companies (América Móvil and CEMEX) together controlled US$ 82 billion, equivalent to 58% of the total assets held by all companies on the list. The largest four MNEs (also including Grupo FEMSA and Grupo México) collectively held US$ 106 billion, equivalent to about 75% of the total. Companies of the food and beverage sector (six) dominate the list, followed by diversified companies (four). Only two companies are not listed on a stock market: PEMEX, an oil company wholly-owned by the Mexican State, and XIGNUX, a privately-held conglomerate.

The 20 listed MNEs have a total of 348 foreign subsidiaries. Since the 1990s, the highest concentration of subsidiaries has been in Latin America, followed by North America, primarily in the United States (Annex I, Figure 2). Western Europe (denoted “Other Europe”) is in third place, followed by two regions in fourth place: Eastern Europe and Central Asia and East Asia and the Pacific. The list is rounded out by the Middle East and North Africa closely followed by Developed Asia Pacific and finally South Asia. None of the ranked firms are present in sub-Saharan Africa.

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