Mexico Senate committees near vote on bold energy reform

Demonstrators hold up pictures of senators during a protest against the energy reform bill outside the Senate building in Mexico CityMexican Senate committees on Monday resume debate of an energy bill that would open up the world's No. 10 oil producer to private investment by allowing lucrative contracts in the sector's most dramatic revamp in 75 years. The bill, announced by centrist ruling party and opposition conservative lawmakers on Saturday, would let private firms partner with ailing state oil firm Pemex via profit-sharing, risk-sharing and service contracts as well as licenses in a bid to stem an output slide. Mexico's peso rallied sharply on Monday morning to a 7-week high on the back of the weekend presentation of the revised version of the reform, which was bolder than expected. The reform, which would keep ownership of crude in state hands, is a cornerstone of an economic reform drive that President Enrique Pena Nieto hopes will boost long-lagging growth in Latin America's No. 2 economy.