UPDATE 3-Mexican bill to limit bank commissions overshadows market


(Adds movements of Mexican bank stocks)

MEXICO CITY, Nov 9 (Reuters) – A top lawmaker from the party of Mexico’s president-elect pledged the country’s leftist government would act with caution after a surprise bill to limit bank commissions sparked the stock market’s biggest fall in more than seven years on Thursday.

Mexican stocks fell again on Friday, tracking losses in the United States, while bank stocks were choppy.

Mario Delgado, who leads President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party in the lower house of Congress, said on Friday the party would act with “prudence” after the unexpected bill sent bank stocks tumbling.

“The objective now is to maintain stability in financial markets,” Delgado told Mexican radio. “We must maintain dialogue. There should be no surprises.”

Mexico’s S&P/BMV IPC stock index fell 5.8 percent on Thursday, its biggest one-day loss since August 2011, as bank shares in the country dropped sharply.

On Friday the index fell more than 2 percent as microlender Gentera shed 6 percent and bank Banorte also fell 6 percent, adding to big losses on Thursday.

The Mexican unit of Spanish bank Santander was down 1.5 percent while bank Inbursa, which is controlled by the family of billionaire Carlos Slim, rose about 1.9 percent.

Thursday’s slump was the second shock to Mexican markets in less than two weeks.

Stocks and the peso were hammered early last week after Lopez Obrador, who takes office on Dec. 1, said he would scrap a partially built $13 billion new airport for the capital.

The bill about bank fees, introduced by MORENA’s senate leader Ricardo Monreal, appeared to have been unexpected by Lopez Obrador’s economic team as well.

Incoming finance minister Carlos Urzua moved to calm markets late Thursday, saying his team had contacted lawmakers to “organize a coordinated effort” before bills are presented in order to ensure financial stability.

The proposed measures also hit stocks of banks in other parts of the world with exposure to Mexico.

Shares in Spanish bank BBVA fell nearly 6 percent on Friday in Madrid. Mexico is BBVA’s biggest market and accounts for 41 percent of the bank’s overall profits. (Reporting by Veronica Gomez Editing by Phil Berlowitz )

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