Week of May 1, 2011 thru May 7, 2011

UN Sees 15-25% Growth in Foreign Direct Invest in Latam 2011

By Nacha Cattan

MEXICO CITY (MNI) - Foreign direct investment in Latin American is
projected to grow by 15% to 25% in 2011, and could reach a new record,
the United Nation's Economic Commission for Latin America and the
Caribbean (ECLAC) said Wednesday.

The 2011 forecast for Mexico is $20 billion, while Brazil, the
region's FDI leader, could draw $50 billion, ECLAC officials said at a
briefing to present its report.

"We think foreign direct investment can hit an historic record if
it reaches 25%," ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Barcena said.

Fed's Williams: US Economy 'Still Weak'; Housing 'A Big Drag'

By Steven K. Beckner

LOS ANGELES (MNI) - New San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank
President John Williams said Wednesday that the U.S. economy is "weak"
-- weaker in fact than macroeconomic models imply that it should be.

Williams blamed the slower than normal growth pace largely on
continued weakness in the housing market, but said it would also be
"helpful" if the U.S. fiscal situation were put on a more sustainable,
long-term path.

"The economy is still weak," Williams said in response to auidence
questions following a speech to Town Hall Los Angeles.

Freddie Mac:Q1 Net Income Jumps,No Additnl Draw From Tsy -TEXT

WASHINGTON (MNI) - Freddie Mac announced first quarter results
Wednesday, and said it will not need any additional draw from Treasury,
though it expects to request additional draws in future under the
purchase agreement. Excerpts of the release follows:

Freddie Mac (OTC:FMCC) today reported net income of $676 million
for the quarter ended March 31, 2011, compared to a net loss of $113
million for the quarter ended December 31, 2010. The company also
reported total comprehensive income of $2.7 billion in the first quarter

Fed's Williams:To Act 'Quickly,Decisively'to Prevent Hi Infl

By Steven K. Beckner

LOS ANGELES (MNI) - New San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank
President John Williams said Wednesday that the Fed will act "quickly"
and "decisively" to counteract inflation if it persists, but he said
that, in all likelihood, the economy is just experiencing a "temporary
bulge" in inflation that will "recede" in the second half.

Meanwhile, the newest Federal Reserve Bank president made clear he
will continue to support a very stimulative monetary policy, saying an
"extended period" of near zero short-term interest rates is justified by

Fed's Williams:To Act'Quickly,Decisively'to Prevent Hi Infl-2

By Steven K. Beckner

Williams said the first-quarter slowdown was partially due to
"transitory factors," especially higher gasoline prices that he said
have taken money out of consumers' pockets and hurt their confidence.

But he said the economy also faces "other persistent headwinds in
addition to high gas prices."

"The housing market remains severely depressed," he observed. "The
large overhang of unsold homes and the shadow inventory of homes in
delinquency or foreclosure offer scant hope for a significant rebound in
construction or home prices in the near term."

FXWRAP: Dlr Inches Up against Euro After Early Swoon,Risk Reversed

By Dennis Pettit

NEW YORK, May 4 (MNI) - The dollar was trading with slight gains
against the euro in afternoon trading Wednesday, but not before seeing a
steep morning slide that quickly reversed, and the greenback slipped
against the yen as a wave of risk position unwinding swept through

Euro-dollar was changing hands at $1.4835 in afternoon dealings,
very close to its $1.4855 early level of the U.S. session, the euro
having traversed a $1.4825-1.4940 range during U.S. hours.

Dollar-yen was changing hands at Y80.60 in afternoon dealings, half

US ICI Data Show Muni Fund Redemptions Continue,Albeit Slower

By Yali N'Diaye

WASHINGTON (MNI) - Data released Wednesday by the Investment
Company Institute showed redemptions continued for long-term municipal
bond funds in the week ended April 27.

Estimated flows showed, however, that outflows from muni funds
slowed compared with the previous two weeks.

While taxable bond funds took in $3.6 billion in the April week,
slightly more than $3.3 billion the previous week, investors continued
to exit municipal bond funds -- which had estimated outfows of $605

SEC Text: UBS Agrees To Pay $160M To Settle Muni Case

WASHINGTON (MNI) - Following is the text of a press release
Wednesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission announcing that UBS
has agreed to pay about $160 million to settle charges of fraudulent
bidding practices involving investment of municipal bond proceeds:


The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged UBS Financial
Services Inc. (UBS) with fraudulently rigging at least 100 municipal

Pemex CFO: Could Issue Bonds Up to $3 Bln as Soon as May 16

By Alex Manda

MEXICO CITY (MNI) - State oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex)
might issue new global bonds -- totalling up to $3 billion -- as soon as
the week of May 16, Pemex Chief Financial Officer Ignacio Quesada
Morales said Wednesday.

"We are unable to issue at the moment because we are in a blackout
period until May 16," Quesada said at a press conference to discuss the
first quarter results. "After that date we could issue one or both

Pemex plans to issue two global bonds this year. Quesada said these

US Admin at Long Last to Negotiate Free Trade Deals W/Hill

--Progress on Colombia Labor Means Colombia, Korea, Panama FTAs Ready
--Sen. Baucus, Speaker Bohner Express Support for FTAs

By Heather Scott

WASHINGTON (MNI) - After months of touting incremental progress on
three pending free trade agreements, the White House at long last
Wednesday announced it is ready to begin the process of actually
drafting legislation with Congress on the deals with Korea, Colombia and
Panama as early as Thursday.

Those three deals, which have languished for years, remain key to