Exclusive: BlackRock to invest in Mexico's infrastructure - sources

Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:18pm EDT
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By Jessica Toonkel

(Reuters) - BlackRock Inc (BLK.N: Quote), the world's largest asset manager, is looking to invest in infrastructure projects in Mexico, according to sources familiar with the situation.

As Mexico has opened up to foreign capital in recent years, BlackRock's infrastructure investment group sees an opportunity and is setting up a team of specialists to work out of its Mexico City office, said the sources, who wished to remain anonymous because they are not permitted to speak to the media on the record.

A BlackRock spokesman declined to comment.

BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink has declared his affinity for Mexico before. In a blog post on BlackRock's blog last June, he wrote that Mexico City was one of his favorite cities and encouraged millennials to live there.

"Mexico is finally beginning to unlock its true potential as an economic powerhouse," he wrote. "Over the next few decades, capital is going to flow more effectively in Mexico, the workforce will become better trained, and it will be easier and easier to do business."

The Mexican government last year said it planned to raise 7.7 trillion Mexican pesos ($515.46 billion) in infrastructure investment through 2018, but in late January cut its 2015 budget by nearly 3 percent and shelved a $3.75 billion high-speed train tender as part of its austerity measures.

Earlier this month, Mexico's Finance Minister Luis Videgaray urged the private sector to take a bigger role in billions of dollars worth of planned public works and the opening of the country's energy sector, weeks after scaling back its own spending plans due to slumping oil prices.

BlackRock has an office with about 30 people in Mexico City as part of its iShares exchange-traded fund business, and is looking to hire investment specialists in Mexico's infrastructure, the sources said.   Continued...

A construction worker talks on his mobile phone in Mexico City September 19, 2012. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo