Since the 1980s, the economies of Mexico and Chile passed through a profound process of globalisation that altered the role of the two capital cities substantially. While the cities’ function during import substitution was to integrate the domestic market, we will show in this paper that more recently Mexico City and Santiago are ever more engaged in "producing" the global integration of those parts of the countries’ economy that are competitive in the world market. This implies "nodalisation" of the cities’ economies, which is documented by the high concentration of command and control functions that are essential for economic globalization.
Drawing on the global city and global commodity chain literature, our contention is that centralized command and control functions, usually identified with advanced producer service firms, are key actors in interlocking de-centralized production sites and urban networks. We seek to specify the relationship between global city formation and the deepening of global integration with a case study on financial service providers. Using stock-market transaction data, we have analysed the involvement of (local and global) finance institutions in bond and share issues of the 50 top ranked Mexican and Chilean enterprises. With our initial empirical investigation on financial service intermediaries that provide services to leading corporations in Mexico and in Chile we take a first step to specify how the two firm-based, trans-state networks – global city and production networks – relate.
2. GLOBAL CITY FORMATION AND THE DEEPENED INTEGRATION OF MEXICO AND CHILE INTO THE WORLD ECONOMY
The main argument of the global city approach is that globalisation processes give rise to a new form of centrality in which a certain number of cities emerge as key places. Global Cities articulate regional and national economies into the global economy and by doing so they serve as nodal points where flows of money, information, commodities and migrants intersect. Hence, global cities are both production sites and trading places for specific goods, namely financial and other advanced producer services, which are essential for global integration. The flows of these goods link global cities to each other; the result is the emergence of the global city network (Sassen 1991, 1994; Taylor 2004).
In previous articles we have posited that both Mexico City and Santiago have been taking on global city functions since the 1980s (Parnreiter 2002, 2003). In order to confirm the hypothesis of global city formation in Mexico and in Chile, three requirements will have to be met. It has to be proved, first, that the two economies have become increasingly integrated into global chains of production and trade. Second, the globalisation of the Mexican and Chilean economy must be, at least partly, organised, managed and controlled from its capital cities. This requires a substantial number of advanced producer service providers in the cities in question. Third, the cities must be linked with other global cities through the flows of producer services, capital, information, etc. Let us exemplify each argument in turn.
The deeper integration of Mexico and Chile into the world economy is shown by a rapid increase of exports, which is fostered through free trade agreements of the two countries, most notably with the United States and the European Union (and, additional, APEC in the case of Chile). But not only did the annual value of exports grow; they also show a significant change in their structure. In Mexico, manufacturing exports made 90 per cent of all exports in 2000. These exports are generally organized via global commodity chains, revealed by the fact that about 85 per cent of all Mexican exports are comprised of tax-free imports that are processed in Mexico and then re-exported (Dussel Peters 2000). Chile based its export orientation on the country’s abundant supply of natural resources. While copper still remains the most important export commodity, non-traditional exports (agricultural goods and processed "industrial commodities" such as fish meal, canned fruit, bottled wine, and wood products) have steadily gained importance since the mid 1980s. The agro-food export sector has become progressively integrated into global commodity chains that are controlled and managed by transnational corporations (TNCs) (Gwynne 1999).
This fact leads us to a second characteristic of the shift towards a world market oriented economy. Due to privatisation and widespread industrial restructuring, TNCs have gained increasing influence. In Mexico, TNCs spearhead global commodity chains in the automotive, electronics, computer and garment industry as well as the financial service sector. In Chile, TNCs dominate the agro-food export sector. Telecommunication, energy and financial services are by and large transnationalised, with global providers of services seeking access to the regional market. Conglomerates owned by private Chilean capital still assert their position, although joint ventures with foreign investors became a standard practice (Fazio 2000).
The strong presence of TNCs is reflected in the volume and the direction of foreign direct investment. In Mexico, annual foreign direct investment grew eightfold between 1980 and 2000 with the transport, the telecommunication and the financial service sector as main recipients. In Chile, FDI-inflows were 30 times higher in 2000 compared to 1995. The first recipient sector is mining followed by transport, communication, services and electricity.
The increasing orientation towards the world market of the Mexican and the Chilean economies is, at least partly, organized from the two capital cities. Mexico City experienced a deep transformation of its productive basis under the new development regime. The city ceased to be specialized on manufacturing, developing a high coefficient of local specialization in services. Employment figures underline this argument: almost half of all national employment in "real estate, financial and professional services" is concentrated in the metropolitan area, representing the fastest growing sub-sector of the formal urban labour market. The concentration of companies` headquarters further strengthens the argument for global city formation. An analysis of the regional distribution of headquarters of main companies operating in Mexico shows that Mexico City is not only the place, where most companies have their command centre. Rather, the interesting finding is that the greater a firm’s sales volume and the stronger its links to the global economy in terms of exports, imports and foreign capitalisation, the higher the probability that its headquarter is located in the inner part of Mexico City, the Federal District. Regional distribution of FDI points in the same direction. It is remarkable that the Federal District maintained a very high level of 60 per cent of all FDI for the last thirteen years, despite the end of important privatisations and regardless of the significant growth of FDI directed to the export processing zones, the so-called maquiladora industry (Parnreiter 2002).
Changes in the economic structure of Santiago de Chile began in the early 1970s. Between the 1960s and 1990s, employment in manufacturing suffered severe losses, while services substantially increased their participation. A look on production, however, shows that from the mid 1980s manufacturing was able to maintain its share in the urban GDP. That points to a recovery of industry that began with the implementation of more flexible, heterodox policies. It is, however, striking that financial services (including insurance and producer services) contribute more to the urban GDP than manufacturing, being the second sector behind trade. The spatial concentration is even higher than in Mexico: 78 per cent of national GDP in financial services are produced in Santiago, representing the strongest concentrated sub-sector in Chile (Banco Central de Chile 2001).
Regarding headquarter locations, only two of the top 50 enterprises – both shipping companies – are not headquartered in Santiago. The regional distribution of FDI reveals that the metropolitan area of Santiago is by far the region where most capital is flowing in (INE 2002).
Empirical evidence on the third condition for global city formation – linkages to other global cities through nets of advanced producer services firms and other critical flows – is provided by studies of the "Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network" (GaWC) which proof that Mexico City is well embedded into the cross-border grid of global cities (Taylor 2004). Among 55 world cities identified by the GaWC, Mexico City ranks 20th, being the highest ranked Latin American city. It has 12 per cent of world city formation (measured in terms of the level of service provision of the producer service sector relative to the top scoring city), ahead of São Paulo (with 11 per cent), Buenos Aires and Caracas (both 6 per cent). Mexico City can be compared to cities like Zurich, Johannesburg, Milan and even Los Angeles. Santiago is in fifth place in Latin America with 5 per cent of world city formation.
3. PRODUCER SERVICES AS THE MISSING LINK
To this point, the argument has been that three conditions stated above (the deepening of trans-state processes, the concentration of command and control functions in both capitals and their embeddedness in the global city network) must be met in order to prove global city formation. The crucial point is that though each of these findings may be well documented individually, the links between them are still not proven. It is, however, precisely the connection between the deeper integration into world economy, growing importance and concentration of advanced producer services, and cross-border links between cities, that makes the notion of global city formation sound. A way to achieve a better understanding how transnationalised economic activities, centralised services, and cross-border networks are coming together is to integrate two bodies of literature: global city research and global commodity chain research. Though both analyse trans-state networks, there has been little, if any, cross-fertilization between these two strands of research. Accordingly, the crucial role of producer service firms as interlockers of global commodity chains and urban networks has been largely disregarded by globalisation research (Parnreiter 2003).
The global commodity chain approach (for the theoretical approach and case studies see, exemplary, Hopkins & Wallerstein 1986; Gereffi & Korzeniewicz 1994; Gereffi et al. 2001) has most merits in capturing the organisational changes in global production and trade since the 1970s. These are, first, new modes of industrial outsourcing of previously integrated components of TNCs activities, i.e. the spatial distribution of production. Second, trade is increasingly in sub-components and services and consequently more complex as in earlier times. Third, a major part of global trade (up to two thirds) is now conducted within TNCs or through systems of governance that link firms together in a variety of sourcing and contracting arrangements (see, for example, Dicken 1998). By tracing all inputs required to bring a product from conception, through the intermediary phases of production to the consumers, the global commodity approach stresses linkages and co-ordination between economic agents and sites. Despite its important conceptual contributions and a growing number of empirical case studies on different commodities, a serious limitation must be asserted: research in this field lacks an understanding of the crucial role of producer services. This deficit is astonishing because cross-border networks of production require sophisticated forms of logistics, coordination and control. These inputs are provided by service intermediaries. Producer service firms supply a range of financial, professional and creative services, which are essential in order to insert firms all over the world into a global division of labor. Despite an initial call to explore the service sector as key link within global commodity chains (Rabach & Kim 1994), this remained an under-researched field.
Global city research, on the other hand, is strong in conceptualising the relationship between globalisation and cities, paying much attention to the role of advanced producer services. Given that service intermediaries have already been identified as crucial actors in global city formation and in tying the world city network together, we consider the double function of producer service firms as providers of connectivity for both commodity chains and urban networks.
With our empirical investigation we take a first step in this direction, i.e. to identify the producer service firms as interlockers of global commodity chains and urban networks. By drawing on financial institutions which provide services to top ranked companies in Mexico and Chile, we want to establish a better understanding how spatially dispersed production, centralized services, and cross-border networks come together. In other words, by detecting the involved financial service firms (be they local or global companies) we expect to grasp how and by whom connections between production and urban networks are established and sustained.
4. GLOBALISATION AND THE ROLE OF FINANCIAL SERVICE INTERMEDIARIES IN MEXICO AND CHILE
We concentrate on the financial sector because it represents a major form of economic activity in which globalisation can be observed. Globalisation has led to a deeper degree of financial integration of Latin American countries into the world market. Accordingly, the internationalisation of financial services is an important development linked to globalisation (Eichengreen 1996). This internalisation is achieved through two channels (Schmukler 2004). The first channel is an increased presence of international financial service providers, mainly foreign banks, in local markets. The second channel involves the use of international financial intermediaries that are located outside the country by local firms, borrowers and investors. One feature of the latter is the trading of bonds and shares, mostly in the form of depositary receipts (ADRs), in major stock exchanges. The internationalisation of financial institutions is stimulated, first, by gains in information technology which offer the opportunity to provide a wide range of financial products and services in different markets and countries. Second, banks and financial firms sought to meet the increased competition by expanding their market shares into new businesses and markets in order to diversify risk. Third, the liberalisation of regulatory systems along with the privatisation of public financial institutions has opened the door for international firms to enter local markets. These general trends found its way into the financial systems of Mexico and Chile.
4.1 The Financial Service Sector in Mexico and Chile
In Mexico, the financial system underwent a severe reform package following the so called "Peso-Crisis" in 1994/95 but especially in 1998/99 when the remaining barriers to foreign ownership in the financial sector were eased. The role of foreign capital in the consolidation process of the financial sector was significant: with full liberalisation the foreign stake increased to more than three quarters of the banking assets in 2001. At present, the five largest banks, which represent 85 per cent of the nation’s bank assets, are owned by foreign banks (OECD 2002; Krebsbach 2003). In Chile, a rapid consolidation process of the finance industry took place during the 1990s. The number of banks dropped from 40 in 1992 to 26 in 2003, with four banks reaching almost 70 per cent market share. In 1997 and 2001, the government has lifted several restrictions of the banking system, opening new business activities to banks (such as international investment in banks, derivative activities and investment banking). The liberalisation of capital markets significantly increased the participation of foreign institutions. At present, seven foreign-controlled banks – headed by Spain’s Santander Central Hispano – dominate the sector with a market share of 45 per cent, followed by eight locally-controlled banks, the State Bank, nine branches of foreign banks and a finance company (Latin America Monitor 2004; EIU 2004; SBIF 2004).
The increased presence of foreign banks and the resulting internationalisation of financial services have shaped the way Mexican companies have access to investment capital. Global financial giants like BBVA, Citigroup, HSBC and Santander Central Hispano have made large investments (an estimated US$ 25 billion) in the Mexican banking system in the last ten years (OECD 2004, p. 14). These investments were not made to foster private sector lending but can be seen as a sign for a shift in banks revenue formulas. The largely under-banked retail market (consumer and mortgage loans) and workers remittances payments generate high fees and therefore promise higher profits for international banks than interest on loans. Hence, international banks operating in Mexico have largely concentrated on this more profitable segment of the market. While non-bank financial intermediaries have become a source of credit for small and medium-sized enterprises, the high end corporate loan business has benefited from the easier access to international capital due to the presence of international financial service firms. Because of the high cost of borrowing, national and international bond issue and the participation of companies in the U.S. equity markets using ADRs have increased significantly. The average ratio of ADR trading in New York over the total value traded in the Mexican markets has risen from around 30 per cent (1990-1995) to 70 per cent (1996-1999) (Schmuckler 2004, p. 47, Fig. 4).
In Chile, consumer credit and mortgage loans of banks register considerable growth rates whereas corporate lending grew by only one per cent (all figures 2003, EIU 2004). The large and foreign banks in Chile make loans almost exclusively to large firms and multinationals and concentrate on capital market activities. Measuring the different sectors of the financial system, Gallego and Loayza come to the conclusion that the liberalisation process has been related to a shift in the financial structure of the economy, in a way such that the stock and other capital markets have gained importance relative to the banking sector (Gallego & Loayza 1999, pp. 18-21). By the end of the 1990s, the local equity and bond markets had surpassed the credit market in activity, size and efficiency (OECD 2003).
4.2 Empirical Basis and Method
In order to grasp the importance of financial institutions operating in Chile and Mexico we rely on two sources of data. The first set of data which was compiled by the GaWC group in 1997/98, consists of a matrix of the "service values" of 100 global service firms in the sectors accountancy, advertising, law, insurance, management consultancy and financial services. The service values are estimates of the importance of a city within a firm’s global office strategy, taking into account features such as size and function of offices. Because of the multifarious nature of the data, drawn largely from the web sites of firms, service values are based upon a simple coding ranging from 0 (no presence) to five (headquarters). This research defines the relations between cities through the differential presence of global service firms within each city, using the plausible conjecture that the larger a firm’s service value (the level of service offered by that firm) in a city, the greater the number of the firm’s flows of information, knowledge, instruction, ideas, strategies, plans, etc. that will emanate from that city to connect with offices in other cities (for details, see Taylor 2004). We draw on the results concerning financial service providers.
The second source of information is the Bloomberg database. This financial information network was launched in 1982 and provides information on the way companies finance themselves by listing equities and bonds issued by companies, the stock exchange(s) on which these instruments are listed and in most cases the name(s) of the financial service firm(s) that were involved in the deal. This enables us to draw a direct relationship between companies and the financial service firm involved (for detailed information see http://www.bloomberg.com).
Drawing on the Bloomberg database, we analysed the bond and stock issues of the top 50 financial and non-financial companies in Mexico and Chile ranked by sales (Expansión 2002; El Diario 2003). After having identified the financial service providers that service the top 50, we ranked them by frequency of occurrence. As a second stage, we compared our Bloomberg findings with the results of GaWC. Besides presenting topic information on the presence and significance of financial service providers in Mexico and Chile, we are able to establish changes by comparing our results with those from the GaWC group.
Regarding the Mexican sample, in 26 out of the top 50 companies we were able to identify in the Bloomberg data base the financial service firm(s) that were involved in either a stock or a bond issue. In the case of twelve foreign companies that were listed as part of the top 50 companies, the Mexican subsidiary did not appear on the national stock/bond market. This leads to the assumption that they financed themselves internally (e.g. stock/bond emissions of the headquarters located outside Mexico). In some cases the foreign mother company appeared listed on the Mexican stock exchange but not the Mexican branch. These companies were subtracted from the sample because we sought for the relationship between a service provider and enterprises operating in Mexico. In addition, three financial institutions that have been de-listed from the Mexican stock market after their foreign takeover and the State Bank were excluded. Regarding Chile, in 20 out of the top 50 companies we were able to identify the financial institutions that service their stock-market transactions. In the other cases the Bloomberg data base did not reveal information on the involved service intermediaries.
5.1. Ranking of Asset Managers in Mexico and Chile
The ranking of financial service companies by the frequency of their occurrence in the Bloomberg database is shown in table 1 for Mexico and in table 2 for Chile (the GaWC ranking is used by way of comparison).
In the case of Mexico, Citibank/Citigroup (to which we added Salomon Smith Barney and Banamex because of its acquisitions in 1998 and 2001 respectively) appears as the leading financial service firms, followed by JP Morgan Chase and the Bank of New York, the latter mainly because of its leading role as ADR depository. Looking at the detected financial service firms a main characteristic stands out: a majority is foreign owned; only four out of 34 financial service providers are owned by private Mexican capital, they are italicised in table 1 and 2.
Table 1: Mexico – Ranking of Financial Service Providers
As far as the presence of foreign financial institutions is concerned, the picture in Chile is similar to the one in Mexico. Only four out of the 26 detected financial institutions are owned by private Chilean capital (IM Trust became 100 per cent Chilean after exiting the partnership with Bankers Trust in 1992). Service providers with global reach are heading the ranking: Citigroup shares the top position with JP Morgan Chase Manhattan, followed by Spain’s Banco Santander and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Unlike Mexico, some foreign institutions with a high frequency of occurrence do not run a local office, even if they are more important than their counterparts in Mexico (this applies to Morgan Stanley, the Bank of New York and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein).
Table 2: Chile – Ranking of Financial Service Providers
5.2. Empirical Assessment: Comparing Bloomberg and GaWC data
A comparison of the Bloomberg and the GaWC data reveals substantial changes regarding the presence of banking and finance companies in Mexico and Chile and the structure of the banking sector itself. In order to complete the picture, the GAWC results are presented below (the tables also involve the global service firms which show the service value 0 for no presence in the respective capitals).
Table 3: The GaWC Sample and Ranking of Global Financial Service Providers in Mexico City
* Own investigations
Table 4: The GaWC Sample and Ranking of Global Financial Service Providers in Santiago de Chile
* Own investigation.
In the case of Mexico, most noticeable is that the Japanese banks lost ground. Our set of data revealed that they were not involved in share or bond emissions of Mexican companies at all. Even in regards to their presence in the Mexican market only three out of the five banks that were included in the GaWC list still have branches in Mexico. In regard of the German banks, our results are opposed to the GaWC ranking, too. Deutsche Bank/Bankers Trust (service value 0 in the GaWC list) is very present and comes fifth in regards to stock/bond emissions. All other GaWC-listed German banks became less important; the Bayerische Landesbank Girozentrale even closed down its local branch. U.S. American and Spanish financial institutions, however, have significantly extended their engagement.
In the case of Chile, one out of the four banks with the highest service value in the GaWC study recently disappeared as an independent entity: Dresdner Bank restructured its business in Latin America and sold its subsidiaries to the Chilean Group Security in April 2004. Using the GaWC service value of service institutions and their frequency of occurrence in the Bloomberg database by way of comparison, Deutsche Bank shows an ongoing presence; the U.S. financial institutions Citibank and JP Morgan Chase could even extend their engagement. The other half of service providers ranked in the GaWC list show a lower rating in our inquiry. It is striking that four GaWC ranked firms (WestLB, Rabobank International, Barclays and BTM) do not appear as asset managers, British Barclays does not even maintain an office in Santiago at the moment. British HSBC and Dutch based Rabobank, ABN AMRO and ING reduced their activities, selling parts of their local offshoots to other banks (Estrategia 2002). The Bank of New York serves exclusively as ADR depository and keeps no direct presence in Chile (because of that the bank was not recorded in the GaWC ranking; that goes for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, too). As in the case of Mexico, the regional dominance of the Spanish banks was not revealed by the GaWC inquiry.
6. INTERPRETATION OF THE EMPIRICAL FINDINGS
Our empirical investigation irradiates the link between producers (be they TNCs or domestic corporations) and financial service providers and, hence, provides initial information on a missing link both for global city and for global commodity chain research. Our findings reveal that foreign financial institutions are predominantly engaged in stock market transactions by order of large enterprises operating in Mexico and Chile. Consequently, it is the foreign financial institutions that perform as network makers, providing connectivity for both commodity chains and urban networks.
Apart from this main finding, which patterns in the financial and corporate sector can be observed? In Mexico, the foreign banks concentrate on Mexican and foreign based TNCs in the telecommunications, the retail and the steel/petrochemical sector. In Chile, the results are similar. Foreign banks perform financial services almost exclusively for transnational and export oriented companies. Their clients are the TNCs in the telecommunication and energy sector, a large private enterprise in the forestry sector and the state-owned mining company Codelco. Regarding the way companies finance themselves, in both countries bond issues occur more frequently than stock issues.
Regarding bond issues of Mexican and Chilean enterprises, the dominant international stock markets are Luxemburg and TRACE (the Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine is a "consolidated tape" in the U.S. over-the-counter corporate bond markets). Shares of enterprises are traded predominantly on the OTC US Stock Market ("over-the-counter" equity securities include national, regional, and foreign equity issues, warrants, ADRs that are not traded on Nasdaq or a national securities exchange) and additionally in Frankfurt in the event of Chile. In the case of Mexican companies, the majority of shares issued are ADRs which means that the Mexican stock market is only the underlying market – a trend which is not that distinctive in Chile. It is, however, striking that there is no single Mexican and Chilean national finance institution active in bond or share issue in foreign stock markets.
Finally, how can the differences between the results of the GaWC study and our Bloomberg inquiry be interpreted? The partly considerable shifts in presence and importance of financial service intermediaries have various underlying reasons. An explanation of the reduced engagement of Japanese banking and financial service firms can be found by looking at the re-structuring of the Japanese financial and banking sector that took place in between 1999 and 2003. All of the GaWC-listed Japanese banks have undergone severe changes in their company structure mostly by merging with another bank or by being taken over. Although they are all but the Sumitomo Bank present with representative offices in Mexico City (the only one in Santiago is the Mitsubishi Tokyo Group), they are not active in asset management.
US-American Banks, however, have significantly extended their engagement – either by merging with another (US-American) Bank which was also active in Mexico and Chile, by benefiting from the re-privatisation and liberalisation of the banking sector or, in the case of Mexico, by taking over large equity stakes of financially troubled domestic banks. An example of the first case is Chase Manhattan who merged with JP Morgan. The banking institution has made efforts to strengthen its presence in the Latin American market especially by expanding the JP Morgan Institutional Trust Services network which delivers a broad range of services, including traditional corporate trust, structured finance, global securities clearance and ADR services. A second example is Citigroup that expanded its activities through the buying up of Salomon Smith Barney in 1998. Moreover, Citigroup acquired the Mexican Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival in 2001. The transaction is regarded as the largest-ever U.S.-Mexican corporate merger.
The Spanish banks owe their expanding market shares to acquisitions, too. In 2000, Banco Bilbao Viscaya Argentaria took over a controlling share in Bancomer and merged with their already existing local branch to create Grupo Financiero BBVA Bancomer. Through the acquisition of Banco BHIF, BBVA holds the 6th position in the Chilean ranking of financial institutions. Another major Spanish Bank, Banco Santander Central Hispano, bought the Mexican Grupo Financiero Serfin in 2001, the Chilean banks Osorno in 1996 and Santiago in 2002. Banco Santander has been since then the largest bank in Chile.
Our case study on the activities of financial service providers gives first details on how and by whom the connections between production and urban networks are established and sustained.
Further investigations in this area will help to specify how the two firm-based, trans-state networks relate and, hence, provide a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between urban change and globalization processes in Latin America. In our view, it is the integrative treatment of producer service firms (as network makers), commodity chains (as the dominant organisational mode of globally dispersed production) and cities (as sites where the networking takes place) that enables us to grasp the structural transformations of the last thirty years.
This article was elaborated in the scope of the project "Transformation and Urban Processes in Latin America" financed by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), No. 14883. We thank Peter Taylor for making the GaWC database available to us.
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Edited and posted on the web on 7th December 2004