Mad Money

Mexico's Coca-Cola?

This may be hard to believe, but Mexico is more financially sound than the U.S. right now, Cramer said.

Apparently, there are no Bear Stearns or Washington Mutual  doppelgangers threatening the markets down there. As President Felipe Calderon said, “Our banking and financial system is enormously solid.”

Betting on Femsa

Mexico, though, is still feeling pressure from a troubled U.S. economy. To offset exposure to U.S. financial weakness, Calderon had to implement his own economic stimulus package back in March. Don’t get this confused with the “free money, Apple iPod in every pocket” consumer-friendly plan that Washington signed into law, though. Calderon’s package focused on ways to boost Mexican business: tax breaks, decreased utilities costs, credit, even reductions in mandatory payroll benefit payments.

While Cramer may see opportunity here, the bottom line is that Mexico’s still in the middle of a slowdown. So any stock he picks has to be defensive. And since Coca-Cola is a great recession stock here in the U.S., there’s good reason to think that logic carries over. Hence, Femsa, Latin America’s largest beverage maker, got the nod Monday – and not just because the company operates Coca-Cola Femsa, the largest Coke bottler in Latin America.

Femsa’s a one-stop shop for all things beverage. Not only does it sell 70 brands of drinks throughout Latin America, the company’s the second-largest beer brewer in Mexico. The kicker, though, is that Femsa also owns OXXO, Mexico’s largest convenience store chain. So all those drinks find a home in at least 5,500 outlets across the country. That’s 67% of market share, and Femsa plans to triple OXXO’s size over the next 10 years. The room for growth here is exponential.

With the Mexican government throwing money at its businesses, investors might want to throw some money at the country’s stocks. Cramer’s advice on Femsa: Buy a little now, and then wait for a pullback to buy more.

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