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Slim’s America Movil Snaps Up Shares During Selloff

Carlos Sim
Illustration: Bloomberg Visual Data

While investors were selling off billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB, causing it to lose a 10th of its value, the company was buying up its own stock.

Slim’s mobile-phone carrier spent 374 million pesos ($29 million) to repurchase 26 million shares yesterday, about 3.5 times its daily average this year, according to a filing to Mexico’s stock exchange. While it wasn’t enough to keep the stock from dropping after fourth-quarter profit missed estimates, the company treated the rout as a buying opportunity.

America Movil is an active repurchaser, reducing its outstanding shares by 1.15 billion, or 1.5 percent, last year. Like most of its transactions, yesterday’s buybacks were made through Grupo Financiero Inbursa SAB, the financial-services company also controlled by Slim.

Inbursa executed purchase transactions involving 64.4 million shares, the highest volume of any bank yesterday in Mexico trading and a fifth of all purchases, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The data doesn’t show if the purchases were made for the bank or for its customers.

Inbursa Chairman Marco Antonio Slim Domit, the billionaire’s second-oldest son, said yesterday in an interview that Inbursa was buying shares on behalf of clients and not for itself.

America Movil, which has more mobile-phone subscribers than any other carrier in the Western Hemisphere, fell 1.3 percent to 13.99 pesos at the close in Mexico City, the lowest price since August 2011.

America Movil acquired an additional 10 million shares today, paying 140 million pesos, according to a filing.

Slim, the world’s richest person, lost $3.8 billion yesterday because of the drop in America Movil, his biggest holding. His fortune fell an additional $949 million today to $73.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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