Grupo BAL History

BAL is a diversified group of five independent, premier Mexico-based organizations: Industrias Peñoles (natural resources); Grupo Palacio de Hierro; (retail); Grupo Nacional Provincial (insurance); Valores Mexicanos-Casa de Bolsa (financial services); and Credito Afianzador (bonding). We have now entered our second century of business and we are proud of our achievements: 23,000 employees, over $4 billion of assets, and over $2 billion dollars in sales. This represents significant performance and growth for an organization that developed from three mines in the Mexican State of Durango in 1887. This brief overview of the Grupo BAL has been prepared to explain our main business activities and our commitment to the values of integrity, hard work and professionalism.


Minas Peñoles, S.A. de C.V., is Mexico’s premier natural resources group. It is Mexico’s leading producer of silver, gold, zinc and lead concentrates. The company takes a long-term focus. Exploration is selective in order to identify mineral deposits which will result in optimum efficiency of operations. Emphasis is on energy savings and preventive maintenance. To meet world standards, older facilities are replaced, equipment modernized and employees trained in advanced technologies. The company’s investment in modern technology has resulted in the production of the highest grade ores and minerals. Minas Peñoles participates with many leading foreign companies in joint ventures, including AMAX (USA), Dowa Mining Company (Japan), Homestake Mining (USA), Otokumpu (Finland) and Newmont Gold (USA).

Met-Mex Peñoles, S.A. de C.V., converts minerals and concentrates mined by the Peñoles Mining Group and other Mexican and foreign producers into refined gold, silver, zinc, lead, cadmium, cadmium oxide and bismuth. Peñoles is the world’s leading producer of refined silver. The company also produces ammonium sulfate, antimony trioxide, sulfuric acid and antimonial lead. The company’s products are used as raw materials in multiple industries, the most significant of which are photography, jewelry, steel, batteries, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and the metallurgical and electronic industries. Met-Mex is one of Latin America’s important nonferrous metallurgical complexes. It consists of a lead smelter, an electrolytic zinc plant, a lead-silver refinery, two sulfuric acid plants, and cadmium, bismuth, ammonium sulfate, antimony trioxide, cadmium oxide and liquid sulfur dioxide plants.

The Industrial Chemicals Division operates four companies, all in organic chemicals, producing, principally, magnesium oxide and sodium sulfate from brines; also magnesium oxide from sea water and chemical lime. Magnesium oxide is sold both commercially and used as a raw material source for the Refractories Division. Also produced are fine chemical products and fertilizers, from raw materials manufactured by Met-Mex Peñoles. The Division’s major operation is Quimica del Rey, S.A. de C.V., the world’s largest producer of sodium sulfate which is used in the detergent, glass and refractory industries.

The Refractories Division is comprised of six operating companies producing basic silica-aluminum, high alumina and dolomitic refractory materials and ceramic fibers. It also provides installation services for anti-acid linings and refractory materials and chimney construction. The division is known for the quality of technical support it provides to customers.

Refractarios Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V., is Mexico’s premier manufacturer of refractory materials designed to withstand destructive conditions under high temperatures. Refractory products are utilized by the steel industry in blast furnaces, electric furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces; by the cement industry for rotary kilns; and by the copper and glass industries. Products are in both brick and granular form. The source of raw material is principally magnesium oxide produced by the Industrial Chemicals Division.


El Palacio de Hierro is one of Mexico City's most prestigious department stores. It has seven stores strategically located and more stores are on the drawing board. El Palacio de Hierro serves a population of over 20 million. It presents, to its customers, the world’s most exclusive and acclaimed international collections of clothing, accessories, furnishings and home appliances. These stores carry designer clothing from Ungaro, Yves St. Laurent, Givenchy, Aquascutum, Missoni, Mondi, Privilegio, Ferre, Baldazari, Nicole Miller, Lagerfeld and Cabaleiro. Also represented are the most renowned fragrance and cosmetics firms including Chanel, Lancôme and Estee Lauder. El Palacio de Hierro has maintained its reputation for quality, vision and service for more than one hundred years.

The Grupo BAL’s international marketing operations are centralized in Stamford, Connecticut through BAL Holdings, Inc. BAL Holdings, through its operating subsidiaries in the USA, manages the export sales of silver, zinc, lead and industrial chemicals. The company handles the global purchasing and merchandising activities for the El Palacio de Hierro department stores as well as fulfilling equipment requirements for the Industrial Group.


Grupo Nacional Provincial was formed in 1968 as the result of the merger of two established, prestigious companies: La Nacional Compañía de Seguros, founded in 1901, and Seguros La Provincial, established in 1936. This merger has allowed Grupo Nacional Provincial to offer to the public the largest variety of insurance products, including pension plans. Grupo Nacional Provincial has, since its inception, taken a leadership position in the Mexican insurance market and has attained, by all measures, pre-eminence in the insurance sector. Grupo Nacional Provincial has continued to increase its market share. It attained 14% of the market in 1975 and this has since grown to 20%. To accomplish its goals, Grupo Nacional Provincial has based its strategy on the following:

  • A tradition of integrity with the assurance of good value.
  • The development of a high quality and professional sales force.
  • The design of products which allow the company to maintain a leading position in all lines of business.
  • Technological development supported by the most advanced operational systems.
  • An administrative philosophy resultant from client satisfaction.
  • Decentralization of its operation with the support of over 40 service offices, 3,000 employees and 4,250 sales agents. Grupo Nacional Provincial maintains a substantial level of solvency. It maintains close relations with the most important insurers and reinsurers in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Crédito Afianzador, S.A. Compaía Mexicana de Garant’as provides fidelity, judicial, bid, performance, supply, advance payment, excise and leasing bonds in the national and international markets. In terms of sales, Crédito Afianzador, S.A. is the third largest bonding participant in Mexico. The Company’s main objective is to change with the historical evolution of the country and to adapt to its needs. Crédito Afianzador has the people, products, technologies and strategies to compete successfully in the development of the bonding industry in Mexico.

Valores Mexicanos-Casa de Bolsa is an independent, multi-faceted financial services firm. It provides debt and equity financing to Mexican corporations. It places securities, both fixed income and equity instruments, among institutional investors, corporate accounts and high net worth individuals. In addition, through a sister leasing company, it provides fixed asset financing in the form of equipment and real estate leasing.

In Mexico, Valores Mexicanos’ reputation is particularly noteworthy in the following sectors: construction and cement; retail department stores and shopping centers; and in the financial sector itself. The company has its own mutual funds specializing in construction and retail. For the banking community, Valores Mexicanos markets bank certificates of deposit.

As Mexico meets the challenges of both increased international trade and its own technological development, Valores Mexicanos is committed to bringing enhanced services to both existing clients and to those seeking new opportunities.

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