MEXICO CITY, March 21 Shares of top Mexican
broadcaster Televisa fell on Thursday ahead of an expected vote
on a sweeping telecommunications bill that could threaten its
market position, while Carlos Slim's flagship phone company
clawed back ground from a recent fall.
Later on Thursday, the lower house of Congress is expected
to vote on the bill, which has been hailed as the biggest
planned shakeup of the closed telecoms industry in decades. If
it is passed, the bill then heads to the Senate.
Televisa shares fell 1.7 percent to 64 pesos in
early trading. The stock had risen on Wednesday, helped by
speculation that lawmakers could soften proposed regulations
affecting the company's pay TV business. That is now in doubt.
Meanwhile, shares of Slim's America Movil rose as they
continued a recovery from their lowest price in about four
years. The stock was hit by concerns that the bill could
undermine Slim's dominance of Mexico's phone and Internet data
America Movil shares rose 1.52 percent to 12.01
pesos. The stock has lost about a fifth of its value this year
due to weak earnings and the threat of tougher regulation.
With the bill it presented on March 11, the government is
trying to boost competition in the telecoms sector by increasing
foreign investment and giving regulators the power to force
companies with a market share above 50 percent to sell assets.
Slim, the world's richest man, controls about 70 percent of
the Mexican mobile phone market and roughly 80 percent of the
fixed line business through America Movil. Televisa has about 60
percent of the broadcast market.
Shares of America Movil have fallen by about 12 percent, and
Televisa stock is down by about 6 percent since March 8, the
last market close before President Enrique Pena Nieto unveiled
(Reporting by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)