By Gabriel Stargardter
MEXICO CITY, April 30 Mexican miner and
infrastructure company Grupo Mexico may split into
three listed units to capitalize on economic reforms planned by
the government, the company's chief financial officer said on
Traders and analysts have long speculated that the company,
Mexico's largest domestic miner, might list its transport and
infrastructure divisions to generate income and drive growth.
That talk was given fresh impetus by the new government's
plan to open up state oil monopoly Pemex to foreign
investment, and improve Mexico's transport infrastructure.
Now Grupo Mexico has admitted it is considering such a move.
"If you ask me, the endgame here might be to have three
publicly listed divisions of Grupo Mexico," Daniel Muniz, the
CFO, said in a conference call with investors. He did not give
any specific timetable for such a move.
"The significant increase in our investment shows how
positive we are about the growth outlook for Mexico,
particularly the energy outlook and the exceptional opportunity
that has arisen from the recent change in government," Muniz
Grupo Mexico, which reported a 15.4 percent decline in
first-quarter profits last week, has discussed
listing its fully owned subsidiary Americas Mining Corporation
on the London or Toronto bourse, Muniz said.
He said that when it was ready, Grupo Mexico would likely
list its transport division first, noting that an infrastructure
division public offering "probably needs a little more work."
Grupo Mexico might look to list about 20 percent of its
transport subsidiary ITM by the end of the year, said Fernando
Bolanos, an analyst at the Monex brokerage in Mexico City.
The government's plans to build up the infrastructure
network provides Grupo Mexico with an added incentive as it
seeks to shield itself from falling metals prices.
"It makes perfect sense given the juncture we're at," said
Gerardo Roman at the Actinver brokerage in Mexico City.
"Reforms, growth, the connection with the U.S., the
improvement of the U.S. economy...there's a lack of new listings
and an appetite for more," he said.
Some Mexican holding companies have recently sought to spin
off their subsidiaries on the booming local bourse,
boosted by a surge of foreign inflows. In February, billionaire
Carlos Slim re-listed his retailer Sanborns
generating just shy of $1 billion.
Grupo Mexico's share price closed up 0.98 percent at 43.46