AT&T sells 7 percent of its shares in Mexico's America Movil

Wed Jun 5, 2013 6:17pm EDT

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(Reuters) - AT&T Inc (T.N) has sold 7 percent of its holding in Latin American telecommunications company America Movil (AMXL.MX) or 540 million shares, according to a filing with U.S. regulators on Wednesday.

AT&T said the sales reduced its ownership stake in the Mexican company, which is controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, to its historical level of 9 percent.

"From time to time we rebalance our asset levels and raise cash for general corporate purposes," an AT&T spokesperson said. "As a result of (America Movil's) recent share repurchases and our sales, we will again hold an approximate 9 percent interest."

U.S. analyst Walter Piecyk of BTIG said it likely does not signal any change in AT&T's relationship with America Movil.

"We do not expect AT&T to continue their selling, nor do we expect AT&T to give up its board seats," Piecyk wrote, adding "We still think the companies have a positive relationship."

AT&T has two executives on the board of America Movil.

A spokeswoman for America Movil declined to comment on the stock sales.

America Movil's shares have fallen 3.8 percent since AT&T first started selling the company's shares on May 7.

In total, the stock has fallen 15.6 percent since the start of the year, hurt by weak results and concern about the impact of telecom reform in Mexico.

The company has been aggressively buying back shares this year.

(Reporting by Elinor Comlay in Mexico City and Sinead Carew in New York, additional reporting by Tomas Sarmiento in Mexico City; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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