Rob Cox talks to Breakingviews columnists about the billionaire's decision to kiss a portion of his Mexican telecom empire goodbye.
One of the big stories this week in the Americas has been Carlos Slim its decision. To actually reduce his ownership of the Mexican talking can't communications market. So Jeff you heard about this yesterday it's quite astounding because Carlos -- -- of course made it. He's become the richest man in the world. Perhaps also must Anderson and the world by amassing this giant stake in them in a telecoms monopoly there he's now. Decided on his own apparently to reduce stake from 7% to 2% of the market. This other couple of replicates what one is of course what to do with the money but also what does it mean for competition. But the idea is obviously to be calm that's world's second richest man. He's the richest I think I think he got surpassed again but he's up he's -- want us. It's fluctuating but he you know to do that you generally need to dominate an industry and he has done exactly that telecommunications Mexico's bought the monopoly from the state. In 1990. And has just. Or you know basically -- devote all of your entire market fixed line wireless. Anderson throughout the right so and so he's been fighting they've been trying to get him to break it up the way and today he got -- -- government. Has wanted to break up for here's your here's. Finally. He is acquiesce which can only lead you'd think that it's actually what he wanted to do right that there's a lot better ways for him to be spending. That he's using -- capitals whose gonna sell off big chunks of it and up presumably rule will reallocate capital and other business which really. Leads as to what other businesses and Chris you looked quite a bit at the Mexican oil business that we -- which the monopoly so it's going back to it to what Jeff said the way that. -- that made his his billions was by dominating men monopolizing the sector. Well it as it was deregulated we obviously see a possibility here. Not quite inaccurate dominance but it doing something -- -- -- there is a parallel again from Mexico has just ended -- 75 in monopoly and it's a great opportunity not just for the likes of excellent chef from from the outside that tent. Apple's site coliseum he already has a couple of that energy companies. That have been mostly operating in Columbia so outside Mexico let's which is of course not deep seed but yeah or maybe -- it might -- yeah water. But admitting that -- so he has some understanding of the business yet they have -- an oil services company that provides census to Pemex and he has jealous as well so. That there is a sense that he's limber enough and they're going to be much bigger opportunity take the next few years Gregory it's. Would suggest a bit of what I saw America I mean at a Mexican energy is clearly a big space from going to where we've sort of hypothesize that Citigroup with its troubles. May eventually find their reason to get out of Panamax. Which you know let it -- you this story -- Carlos Slim -- to sell it as a young boy at twelve the first investment he ever made was buying stock in it in -- bank. So you know he may -- -- like to revert to that he's obviously been looking into Europe he's he's bought Telekom Austria and as the -- patent troll it. Tried to -- -- yen in the Netherlands. So that all sorts of thing and then the other big thing he's always learning -- hands on his television and in Mexico which is a much higher growth business. Then fixed line telephone it's. So but he's been shunted away from that because -- his dominance telecoms and telecoms that is another but -- sort of monopoly which is televisa which is sort of his rival there right. If you can get -- hey you know if you can get his hands on. By giving up some of the Telecom maybe the government gives him -- I didn't get in the television. That would be huge sound like competition in Mexico I mean that's probably it. A pretty good thing for -- and consumers and good for Carlos Slim now. Are what we've -- more -- tomorrow.