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Carlos Slim Buys Stake in Money Manager BlackRock

Billionaire Carlos Slim
Billionaire Carlos Slim has about $64 billion in public holdings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man according to Forbes magazine, has acquired shares of BlackRock Inc., the world’s biggest money manager, expanding his U.S. holdings.

Arturo Elias, Slim’s spokesman, said yesterday in a telephone interview that he thinks Slim’s holding is less than the 2 percent figure reported Nov. 21 by the Financial Times, which cited unidentified people familiar with the investment. Elias said he didn’t know the exact amount of the stake or whether Slim holds it directly or through a fund.

The investment adds to a portfolio of U.S. holdings that includes luxury retailer Saks Inc. and publisher New York Times Co., which like BlackRock are based in New York. Funds operated by BlackRock hold shares in Slim’s America Movil SAB, Latin America’s largest wireless carrier.

Slim, 70, has about $64 billion in public holdings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Mexico City-based America Movil counts for about two-thirds of that wealth. He also controls Grupo Financiero Inbursa SAB, Mexico’s fifth-largest bank by outstanding loans.

BlackRock is looking to expand its business in international markets including Latin America, the Financial Times said in its story. BlackRock said last week that it plans to offer local exchange-traded funds in Colombia and Chile to reach investors in South America.

Bank of America Corp. and PNC Financial Services Group Inc., two of BlackRock’s biggest investors, said earlier this month that they plan to sell 42 million shares of the firm. Mizuho Financial Group Inc., Japan’s third-biggest bank, agreed to buy a 2 percent stake in BlackRock for $500 million, including shares sold by Bank of America, two people briefed on the transaction said Nov. 12.

Bobbie Collins, a spokeswoman for BlackRock, said she had no further comment on Slim’s stake beyond Elias’s statement.

BlackRock fell $3.84, or 2.3 percent, to $163.03 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have dropped 30 percent this year.

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