Mexico Finance Minister has 'nothing to add' on house purchase report

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 19, 2015 10:51 PM

ACAPULCO (Reuters) - Mexico's Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said on Thursday he would not comment further on a report that a contractor who has embroiled the government in a conflict-of-interest scandal sold him a house without making a profit.

"I have nothing to add to the comments I already gave to the newspaper before publication ... I will not make any more comments," Videgaray told reporters at Mexico's annual banking conference in the beach resort of Acapulco.

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported that property records showed that Juan Armando Hinojosa, owner of government contractor Grupo Higa, sold Videgaray the house in 2012 for the same price Hinojosa paid for it 10 months earlier.

Revelations that Videgaray, President Enrique Pena Nieto and first lady Angelica Rivera all bought or used homes belonging to Grupo Higa have hurt the government, which is struggling to revive a sluggish economy and curb gang violence.

Videgaray previously told the U.S. newspaper that the house purchase was conducted at market value, "both in terms of the amount paid and the rate of interest."

(Reporting by Christine Murray; Editing by Kim Coghill)