Eng. Carlos Slim Helú delivered a press conference where he addressed, among other topics, the business history of Grupo Carso and Telmex privatización, later enrichening it with a thorough Q&A session.
Mexico City, February 12, 2024

Press Conference, Eng. Carlos Slim Helú

Eng. Carlos Slim: The idea of this meeting is, somehow, besides taking with you and, at the end, and hear your questions, to speak about the history of the Group. Talk about the history of Carso Group; obviously Carso Group, Inbursa Group, for all the things that are written, said and opinions given about. Trying to leave things straight. And this is basically the first part; and the second part is for all other things that may also be worth for you to ask me about, any doubt you may have, and we will also clarify some other things. Specifically, the TELMEX privatization, for example, and some other things about the current activities.

Well, so, here we start the presentation’s idea, talking to you about the first stage. In the first stage - we are going to give you a piece of paper, that they are preparing right now, that is why we are a bit delayed – is about investments made by the good kid, the young guy. We started when I was 12 or 13 years old, but I have a balance from when I was 15. I want to give you that balance. So the first stage, basically previous to the group, are investments; investments I made between 1955 and 1964, are not investments. So, we are going to give you two pieces of paper, one on January 55, first, we are going to give you the papers of approximately investments from 1955 and 1964. 

So, these are investments, we’re going to give you two pieces of paper, one for January 55 – ah, the papers have arrived! One is for January, and that is for later. First the other ones. So, first, we’re going to give you the papers of the approximate investments from January 55 to 1964. We have several papers, but we are trying to give one that is not, I thinks the one of May, April, which is clearer. I have here the one for July, we’re going to give you the previous one. But basically, these are investments I was making before starting the business life, the business career. 

Ah, these papers that are being given to you too early, are those – oh, I forgot the binder on the table, give me these for right now. So, I’ll start from the beginning, so this is an investment. I already had an investment in shares, 40 Banamex shares. The capital was $6,623 pesos, but pesos from 55, which were a lot more pesos than today. That investment basically had different coins, for example, the Cuauhtémoc coins, I don’t know if you knew them, the Hidalgos. There were different coins and basically 40 Banamex shares. We were on 55. For 64… shares don’t appear here, but we had capitalized. The capital we had, which was $2’270,000 pesos. That was May 64, which are the papers you will receive. Then, the first stage was simply for investments, the student stage, to be at school, being a teacher in the Engineering School, etc., and I took a sabbatical year, which was exactly the 64.

Then, on 65, we started the companies creation. In the period from 1965 to 1981, we established three companies, out of which one was Jarritos del Sur, a bottling company; another one, the most important, was Inversora Bursátil, that you already know, that is the financial group, today. We started with a capital of 80,000 dollars. It has been capitalizing during these 58 years and a half we have, we are living year 59, next year the foundation of Inbursa will celebrate 60 years, of Inversora Bursatil, of the financial group that you know. It started as brokerage house and today is a financial group with insurance, finances and banking activity, of course. 

The other company we established on 66, was Carso Real Estate that Carso Real Estate company, as the name implies, at the beginning was a real estate investment. Its name was Carso, with my name and the name of my wife, my wife’s name and mine. On January 66, I got married on April, so we were a few months ahead with the name of the real estate company. Today, it is a company named Control Empresarial, much larger, which is not public, that makes investments. It is dedicated to invest.

So, out of these three companies the outstanding one is Inversora Bursátil, Inmuebles Carso, Constructora Carso, and Galas de México. Galas de México was a company that we acquired at 60%. It was in a very hard situation. On 1976, it was very important for development. Besides printing calendars and gift-wrapping paper, it mainly made labels. Despite having 12,000, the most important clients, which made up 25% of the sales share were labels for cigarettes, sodas, cigarettes envelopes, soda, sorry, beer, for many things. 

This was a very important company that was able to recover very quickly, very quickly, by restructuring all of their passives, debts, the part of unpaid taxes, Social Security, etc. And it was able to recover very fast. It returned after a strike of more than two months and a half, and despite of it, clients could be recovered. It recovered very fast. This was on May 76; on August 31, 76, we saw the first devaluation after 22 years. On August 31, 1976, a devaluation stroke. The last one had been on 1954, 22 years passed. Independently of price, the dollar was uncertain, indefinite. No rate was fixed, it was let to float. 

We went out to sale the day after the night the devaluation was announced, and we went to the market to continue serving our clients. I think that doing that was very important and profitable. As a consequence of Galas de México, as I was explaining, its top client was cigarette envelopes. This cigarette envelopes client integrated itself, was integrated, and we lost it, we lost it from Galas. But we went with the competitor in cigarettes, not only to take it as a client, but we associated and it was a very important company, where we acquired the majority, and the previous partners integrated to Carso Group, and that it was how we acquired Cigatam, Cigarrera Tabacalera Mexicana. This company was very important, because from a market share of 25%, and we took it to the 75%. It owned the Delicados brand, which was very good… Faros. Delicados was in poor shape, we were able to make it grow, but above it all it had Marlboro.

Marlboro had a one-digit market share, I don’t remember if 6 or 8%, and it rocketed, and its market share went to the top; despite they sent their heavyweights to try to slow us down. Well, this company, this company has a lot of flow, little Capex, then it was very important to finance investments we made after 81. This period of the first stage that I’m sharing of the business group, is set on 1965, when we started, till 1981.

These are the companies we acquired. At that time, also importantly, we made real estate investments, and in some areas, we made some very important real estate investments, very, very important. But those very important real estate investments in the Southern part, that we purchased on 68, 70, 72, 73, were expropriated on 89. They expropriated from us on 89. And by the way, they have not paid to us, and the expropriation objective was not accomplished. The expropriation objective made sense, because it was developing a green belt around the city, it actually was a laudable goal. We even considered that an expropriation with that purpose was not wrong, but unfortunately, the belt was never developed, or any part of the proposal. This was proposed on 89, the first year of the Salinas de Gortari’s government. Well, the first year was December 88, that is, was the first December 88, but this happened on 89.

Then, in this first stage, as I was saying, was Inversora Bursátil mainly, Inmuebles Carso, in an also relevant manner, but the most relevant of it all was Galas México and, above it all, Cigatam. In Cigatam our partner was Philip Morris, then we had 72% and they had 28%, I’m talking about 1981, 1981, which is the last year of this first stage.

The second stage is harder, more complicated stage, because foreign and national investors stopped investing. Then came what is known as the ‘foreign debt crisis’. I don’t know if, you are all young, but some of you may know or remember that all years, 77, 78, 79, 80 were excellent. Were years ruled by President López Portillo. Those were very good years, of strong growth, and growth also enhanced because more oil was produced, and oil prices prices increased from 3 dollars on 1973, to near 40 dollars. It was a terrific increase of oil price, until 81.

But on 81, things got very complicated, more on 82! On 81 and 82, there was a two-digit inflation in the US. I think it the inflation was about 11%, and the president, I think it is a president of the Fed, of the famous Fed, the one taking rates up and down, increased rates up to 21%. Debts were impossible to be paid, there was a huge world crisis, not only in Mexico, the crisis, the famous ‘foreign debt crisis’. Mainly in developing countries, which had received large loans, and when the rate increased to 21%, for example, on 1982. I’m talking about currency dollars of that time. On 1982, Mexico paid over US$10 MM of interests in one year, I’m talking about 40 years ago, 40 and a half years ago. That was the amount paid of interest.

The country was unable to pay interests and capital, and it was the infamous ‘foreign debt crisis’. And it was a very hard time, oil prices came down, from US$40 in 81- 82, to US$6 in 86. Those were very hard years. Very hard years. In the 80s, I mean, on 82, the banking sector was nationalized. You know, private banking was nationalized, on September 1, in the Presidential Report of 82. 

It is curious because it was also a difficult situation, because there was a president-elect; however, the president-in-office made the decision without discussing it with the other president. One was in favor, and the other was not, in short, it was a difficult situation. In this hard situation, the truth is that all values went abroad, bankers, I mean, foreign companies did not want to have subsidiaries in Mexico. They sold lots of subsidiaries. In that period, we Mexicanized in that 80’s period. This stage goes from 82 to 89, the one I’m talking about. The previous one was from 65-81, and this is 82-89, that is the devaluation, the banking sector nationalization, and later years until 89. 

The truth is that foreign companies fled from Mexico, because American of foreign companies were affected for having subsidiaries in Mexico. We ‘Mexicanized’ many, many of them. We Mexicanized Reynolds Aluminio, Alcoa, Alcan, Euskadi, I’m reading it, Anderson Clayton, Firestone, Sanborns, of course. A lot of companies were Mexicanized because they did not want to have shares or investments in Mexico. And the truth is that prices plummeted. If any of you is interested on that, and want to investigate, to find out how prices of very, very expensive things plummeted. Our competitor in the cigarette industry that we lost as a client, was a company worth US$400 M, 500, and saw its price reduced to 5, 4-5 million dollars in the market. 

Another one, Firestone, the rubber company was named El Centenario, and it also got to worth nothing. Paper companies, two million dollars; these, Firestone were 160,000 for 700 thousand dollars, its price reached. They all, all, all markets fell down.

And in that period, from 82 to 89, the Group… xxx … I was saying that before there were three companies, on this one, from here downwards… up to here…They were about 25 companies... Well, we purchased a few of them, bought the minority for relevant amounts that were resold, that is, investments. In that period, on 1984…

Arturo Elías Ayub – 27

Eng. Carlos Slim – 27, I almost hit it, those were 27. Many of them relevant companies, and we sold many of them, we sold them. Cemex was missing. 

OK, in that banking expropriation, I think you know that banks were expropriated, and the commitment was made for all assets owned by the bank not linked to the banking operation, would be returned to the shareholder or holders. This is how the expropriation was on 82. On 84, even with a different government, banking assets were returned to bank shareholders, then, which are the not banking-related assets? Well, they were from properties, even stock investments, and importantly, to credit auxiliary institutions, such as insurance companies were returned, brokerage agencies were returned, they were returned to them, etcetera, etcetera. And out of that, we bought a stock package on 1984 that once belonged to the Banco de Comercio, which had three packages. I think we bought the most relevant one, including an insurance company, the bank insurance company, which was very important. This is how Inbursa integrated an insurance company; also, a surety company and a significant portfolio of shares investments.

So, that was a very important acquisition we made in a very difficult year, which was 1984. Since 82 we made several acquisitions in 83, 84; and this is how the Carso Group had a relevant business expansion from 82, from 81. As I had previously explained those were Galas de México, Inversora Bursátil, Cigatam etc. And in this period comes Loreto y Peña Pobre, we bought Sanborns. Loreto y Peña Pobre is a very important company, it was a very important paper company which had tree plants, a famous one in Tlaxcala, and the ones in Mexico, that we had to closed due to the water consumption. And was the time, it was a trend, were we moved from industrialization and urbanization in Mexico, to build a city of services, and all industry companies left, they were scared away, because they consumed a lot of water, or because a pollution issue. 

For example, cement, we had Cementos Mixcoac, and it had to move away. We had, as I said, these paper companies that were shut down, and in general, all industries that could be polluters or water consumers, were obliged to leave the city, for obvious reasons. We bougth Nacobre, Frisco, Química Flúor, Seguros de México, Fianzas La Guadiana, Artes Gráficas Unidas, Porcelanite, Sanborns. I was saying about Peña Pobre, and the minority of many others, which were later resold. Many of them came in that package of companies I was telling you about. Then, in as a matter of fact, that is how the Carso Group was formed and consolidated. Our competitor, that who had been our client, and that we bought at a value of 4 – 5 million dollars, We bought 39% of it. And later, we sold that 39%, by the way, very cheap, to another Mexican businessman. As a matter of fact, it became a Mexican company, until he sold it, he sold it very well sold a few years later in about 20 times its original price.

Well, then, that’s the story, that’s the story and is the history of the Carso Group. Then, I insist in the strengthening of Carso Group, which has a good operation in its first stage, through Galas and Cigatam, Inbursa and the real estate business. In the second stage, strengthening is very, very important, because practically all companies were on sale. Then, several important companies, Condumex, for example, got integrated, also entering in the first stage Nacobre even to Bicicletas de México, anyway, Porcelanite, etc. And obviously, despite we had the foundations in operation, the Carlos Slim Foundation is created, which was already operating since before, it was on 1986. Then, that is the important part of the Group’s business strengthening. We were in the finance sector, not only Casa de Bolsa, but also with Seguros de México, which was a very relevant insurance company; it was the insurance company of Bancomer. In fact, its name was Seguros Bancomer, but as it was expropriated, so Don Manuel changed its name to Seguros de México, he gave it that name. So, this is it, prepare possible questions.

After this, comes the Telmex privatization, and this is where I would like to stay for a while. The Telmex privatization, a bid is opened, it is a little discouraged, not so much interest on it. There was a first group, then another came, in short, at the end, at the end of the road they insisted us to participate, and it facilitated.

The second bid stage was very important, because the second stage a formula was made, in such a way that many foreign participants were to be involved. At the end, 12 or 14 foreigners arrived wanting to be partners. All foreign telecom companies, not all, most of them were interested in Mexico, they were Telefónica, France Telecom, Bell Canada, GTE. They were all the companies into which ATT had been split into. Here came Ameritech, Bell South, many of them came. Then a formula was established, making viable the acquisition, the participation in such privatization. 

First, instead of placing 100% of Telmex – OK, I’ll go a bit back. For 80 years, was a foreign and private company, that is, from 1878 to 1958, it was foreign and private. They were two companies, Ericsson, which I think started on 1906 and the other one was GT. Then, as a matter of time, to make a phone call you used two different telephones, it was when I was a kid, a long time ago. It was Ericcson and the other was named Mexicana. That is why you had to call another from Ericcson, there was no interconnection, and from Mexicana you needed to call another Mexicana telephone. This lasted many years. Those were the largest companies, and in 1958 with Carlos Trouyet, Don Carlos Trouyet, and another relevant businessman Eloy Vallina, father of Eloy Vallina, who recently passed away, Eloy Vallina from Chihuahua and Carlos Trouyet, go and negociate with Ericcson, and achieve the Mexicanization of telecommunications.

Then, on 1958 Telmex becomes a Mexican company, through that acquisition they made with Ericcson, and a commitment was made with Ericcson to buy equipment, etc. Then Ericcson, sorry, Telmex is now a Mexican company, is Mexican and private from 1958 a 1972, practically 14 years. For 14 years it was private, from 1958 to 1972, and they had the wisecrack of implementing an obligation – as usual, the telephone demand was bigger than the offer, and unfortunately no investment was made, not much investment was made. People are asked that before buying, they pay shares or bonds to finance their purchase. Here I have a piece of paper to give you an idea… sorry I have changed subject… about the investment, the investment scenario. Look at this, it was bought on the 50, before being bought, before getting Mexicanized, on 52 it invested US$6’900,000, which was nothing on 53, 7, 9; on 54, 5.2; on 55, 9 M dollars; on 56, 10.2, and on 57, 15.1.

Then, the investment had always the demand delayed, I think they take you through all these years, I have the number somewhere, but you will not find it. OK, anyway, that there were about 400,000 lines after 80 years. The national private sector comes to play; they invest 20.3 on 58, 18, 18, 20.3, 24.8, 23.4, 30.4, 48, and 56. On 1988, US$108.2 M were invested, and I know the why not. Because for the Olympics it was necessary to install, I don’t know how many equipment units for the transmission. There was a huge investment and modernization in Telmex, and then between 67 – 68, a large investment was made. Well, a great investment for that time. They totaled, in 12 years, US$829 M. During all these years, more than 12, 13 years, from 58 to 71, 13 million, 13 years, 829, that is about 60 million a year, and that resulting from the Mexicanization and a tax on telecoms, that was capitalized with government shares.

Then, the government owned 48% of Telmex, and it decides and negotiates, it is not a, it is not an expropriation, but an agreement where I think the government comes to people managing Telmex, because it had no owners, and negotiate for the government to get 51%. Then, starting on 1972, the majority of Telmex belongs to the government, that is, it becomes a mixed company, 51% of the government and 49% of private members. This lasts from 1972… by the way, the Directive Council, I don’t’ know if you are interested on a copy of the Council, I say you don’t, but it had 38 members among the government… Let me show you the paper of the Assembly, I mean Council… All of them were, members of the Council. Can you really take a photo from there? Or are you taking me? Do you want a copy? OK, here I wrote it down, 36 members of the Council, among member and the alternate. Well, everybody, everybody got there! 

Then, in the hands of the government… the truth, despite other things are said, I have pending that, once this government is over, talk with the president about many things. As he says, we have different opinions about many things. We are going to talk, once he’s finished, about our differences, starting with Porfirio Díaz. I think he was a great president, OK, he ruled for 30 years, exaggerated with the time, but he modernized the country, etc. But let’s not get there. The truth is that, the investment in the hands of the state, despite the opposite is claimed, was very little. And to say if it was too little or too much, let’s see the figures, right? 

That is, it was investing 180…you have to see two things in the figures, the stage of delay and old age Telmex had and the lack of customers, and the lack of service to cliens. When Telmex was privatized, it had a delay of two years and a half in the telephones installations, over two million, which were 2,200 or 2,400 million of requests not satisfied. Anyone remembers these figures?

Well, over 2 million, 2,200 or 2,400. Telephones that had been requested, with shares paid for, all others paid for, etc. It not only had a 2-million delay, but also vehicles 23 or 25 years old. They had no systems, much of the work was manual – and look, the history of telephones started. Originally, telephones were electromechanical, then they were analogic, then digital. When Telmex was privatized, it had about 180,000 electromechanical telephones, not even analogic. And it also had a significant delay, because there was no growth nor modernization. It had both problems, it was, it stayed behind, it was very far away as related in modernization, and far away as in the service provision.

OK, I’m going to give some numbers here, OK? 881.8 million 181.9, 185, 310, 240, 275, 256, 544, these 544 and 447, which were almost 1,000 M were in the oil years, 80 and 81. All those years where oil was at 40 dollars, etc. And the following year, 82, I was saying to you, 256,000 M, 282. Well, up to 87, up to 1987 the investment was extremely low, I would say, in average 300 M, I don’t know. In 88, they are 656, in 89 the investment is of 880. The new government who wants to privatize, starts trying to speed things up. And in 90, when the auction is held 1,800 M, and from the auction ahead, when Telmex is privatized – and by the way, remember that the government owned 51 and the private holders 49, it was not a 100% state owned company. It was a 51% state owned company. And after it is privatized 2,000 on year 2000; 2001, 2,500 about 2,000 a year. 

The first ones, I would say 91, 92, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in 96 it dropped. Do you remember that there is the 95 crisis? No, from there the 95 plummets, and then 99 starts being of 2000. Then, it is in the investment we made, now private, was over US$40 MM. Then, obviously, modernity arrived, everything was digital, it grew, it grew, I don’t remember if 12 or 14 M … , and now, it all is not only digital, but there is an optic fiber network in 90%. Well, now what happened with Telmex? I’ll give you some illustrative data of the Telmex value, because it has been said that was sold off, and that is not true. And they say it is mine, but I only acquired 3.8%, that is out of the 100% of the capital, I’m entitled as personal and family purchase is 3.8.

Then, on the 86 closing, the company was worth US$173 M; on 1987, US$630 M. There, some people knew that prices were going up, I mean, it was to be privatized, and shares were bought. Since it was worth US$630 M, and on 88 it is worth US$1,152 M; and on 89 it is worth US$3,730 M. 

On year 90, comes the privatization auction and it is privatized at US$8,600 M, a bit over US$8,600 M. Then, there it comes from 173 M in 86 to US$8,600 M. Circumstances also changed, in 89, after that huge foreign debt crisis, worldwide, basically, and in Mexico, particularly, the credit was recovered. There were credits again, the stuck debt was restructured, it was restructured and the credit was opened, not only for Mexico, but for Latin America. Therefore, Telmex is the first company among all developing countries to be listed in the stock market, and it rockets. It was privatized for US$8,600 M, but I have the numbers, distribute the papers now! Ah, here it is! In US$8,615.7 M. They had also said that, additionally, some payment-dividends would have to be seen, that is US$8,615 was 100% of the Telmex value, but the privatization was made on the control shares, double A, 20.4%.

Therefore, 20.4% was privatized, then in these papers I’m giving to you, which are a part of this, is just a little piece of this. That is why, if you have any question, ask me. I’m giving you the paper of the three participants, of one participant I will make some comments about, later, on that participant, who made a smaller offer. There is how much per stock, and the other was against the one we competed closely, it was Acciones y Valores, the Acciones de Valores group with Telefónica Española and GT; and we went with France Telecom and South Western Bell. That is, South Western Bell purchased 5%; the other purchased 5% and 10.4 was purchased among Mexican investors, among Mexican investors. Then, I only emphasize its value.

By the way, please find the information, but if I’m not wrong, when Telmex was privatized for 8,600 something million dollars, the 100%. In Brasil, the Brazilan telecommunications company, was worth US$800 M as a whole. And if I’m not wrong, again, the one in Sao Paulo was worth 200 million. I’m talking about 1990.  We were still carrying the 82 crisis, we still were in the 82 crisis. Well, this is about the Telmex privatization, you already have the information. I’d also like that, if you want us to talk a bit longer about this before moving to another topic.

Oh, sorry! Remember that there were 49% of Telmex shares in the market. Yes, between what was purchased abroad, and what we know about the government in that event, knowing that the government was about to privatize, I don’t know dates, instead of 51% it had, it moves to 56.20. That is, the government buys 5.20 of Telmex, 56.20% of Telmex. That is, it bought five, not 56.20, buys 5.20 plus 51 it had. It goes to 56.20. Then, the government at the privatization, the 51 has 56.20. 

Out of that 20.4, it becomes the one who votes, the one making the decisions, which is 10.4 Mexican, the one privatizing, let’s say. 10.4 Mexican and 10% foreign. Five from one telephone company and five from another, in our case it was France Telecom, which had it all, And South Western Bell, which had no long distance, but had a little cellular telephony, France Telecom.  When we bought that 20.4, this is interesting, because Telmex had about 35.000 cellphone clients, around 35.100, and the one starting the cellular monopoly was not Telmex, never, they were Telmex’s competitors, which were Iusacell and I don’t remember who else.

That is, there was someone who started the cellphone business before Telcel…Telcel started, and when we entered, I think we had 30 or 35,000. We introduced a three-year plan, available if you want it later. This three-year plan was what we were going to do between 1991, 92 and 93, our commitment in 91, 92, 93. Of course, the main commitment of that three-year plan was making investments required for those 2’200,000 or 400,000 clients to have their telephones. Then, we could achieve the modernization and investment very quickly. The truth is that our relation with the union workers was excellent. This enabled us to transform the entire company culture very quickly.

There was a commitment to not fire anyone and deliver training in other areas, to modernize the company, and the truth is, in 96, 96 or 97, we faced the two largest companies in the world, which were ATT and MCI. They were the world largest in long distance, and they were not alone, they came one with Banamex and the other with Bancomer. As a matter of fact, one came with Bancomer and Alfa. That is, Alfa was a huge industrial company, it is not, anymore. And they were our largest competitors, the largest worldwide, and the more experienced, which was ATT. And we confronted them on 97, and to tell you the truth, is that with union and non-union employees, it was a very, very good contest, and we won. And now, Avantel and Alestra merged, they were Avantel and Alestra, they went from one side and the other, they were annoying everywhere. They made no investments, made things wrong and well, there they are, now they are called Axtel, they both merged.

So, before moving to the companies development, uh? If you want, we can open a parenthesis for questions, questions you may have a bit fast. Then we follow to the last group stage. This stage covers up to Telmex. And I did not talk about all what we did to complete it, I’m summarizing what we did.

OK, I’m going faster. A bit more about Telmex. Then, the privatization, we purchased in the Group’s company that were Inbursa and Carso Group, we acquired about 5.3, 5 and something a bit more than 5.2. But as I had about 65% - among my family, my children and me, we had about 65% - make the multiplication and that is 3.70 or 3.80%. Then what we had as a family or personally from Telmex at the origin, was 3.8%, more less. They said it was mine, I wish it was, but at that time it was 3.80%. And what we did afterwards, which is the process we can review in detailed, we strengthened it, consolidated it, modernized it. The truth is that we did things fast, but with a lot of investment. Of course, we negotiated things right, because they sold us each line in 600 dollars, and we reduced it to 153; and the cable had a reduction of 15 or 16%.

The first thing we did was lowering prices of everything that was sold to us, hugely; and modernize vehicles. We made an interesting agreement; all workers of the external plant had their vehicles. We bought a lot of new cars very fast, because their cars they spent all day in the workshop. After five years of use, they could buy them 20% under the Blue Book Prices. Do you remember? The Blue Book with car prices? Then it was attractive for them, to take good care of their vehicles, and keep them at the end, etc.

A great progress was made. Then, we eventually split Telcel and Telmex, it was there, hanging from Telmex. We split them to make them compete, to compete between them, because Telmex was competing in the local services against other cellular companies. We put them face to face, and when Telefónica tried to enter, and other foreigners too, what we did was start entering into other Latin American markets; so, instead of them to corner us in the Mexican market, defend ourselves in other countries where they were already present. That is how we started, I think it was in 97, do you remember? I think we started in Guatemala.

Anyway, we started entering into Latin America, and obviously, the leader in Latin America was Telefónica. So, as Telefónica was coming very aggressive, it wanted to conquer the Mexican market, we competed against them pretty strongly, and they even had support from Televisa, and people from Banamex and a bit from the Secretariat of Treasury, in the Fox government. In short, we competed against them very well, and we became international competitors thanks our presence in Latin America, and we had that development.

Obviously, for such development we needed financing, and in the Telmex case, they handed us a time bomb. For the last, I think 12 years, do not believe me, I have a paper somewhere, we have not been able to collect, we have not paid one dividend in Telmex, no repurchase, have bought nothing to Telmex. And we have had to support it, because they left us a pension fund, a lot of retirements which are at 48 and 53 years; so, numbers don’t match. So at 53 and 48… Fortunately that has been restructured. They ended up, they end up receiving, 160 or 170 of their salary at the end of their last year, because they receive their pension, plus the Social Security, or plus 15%, 12% from the Siefore. Anyway, a huge effort is being made, but today we are doing good, and we hope to solve this situation completely. So, considering that we can talk more about Telmex, let’s get started.

Héctor Herrera – Thank you, Engineer, Héctor Helguera from Grupo Fórmula – If you allow me, three questions to start, about this first stage. Engineer, you obviously recognize… 

Eng. Carlos Slim – Ah, I have completed three stages already!

Héctor Herrera – No, no, about what we were talking about a minute ago.

Eng. Carlos Slim – This was the third one… about the three stages..

Héctor Herrera – Do you recognize having differences with president López Obrador.

Eng. Carlos Slim – About the three stages..

Héctor Herrera – You recognize having differences with president López Obrador.

Eng. Carlos Slim – What?

Héctor Herrera – That you have differences with president López Obrador.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, we have differences…

Héctor Herrera – That you have differences with president López Obrador.

Eng. Carlos Slim - Are you married?

Héctor Herrera – Yes 

Eng. Carlos Slim – Do you have differences with your wife?

Héctor Herrera – Yes, of course!

Eng. Carlos Slim – We all have differences! What happens is that as he is the president, I’m keeping it for when he leaves.

Héctor Herrera - Could you give us some in advance?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Yes, I can tell you some of them, we can talk, but now, with the Tren Maya trips, or the Inter Oceanic trips. There you can talk more. No, no, but these are candid discussions, but I’ll advance. 

Héctor Herrera – OK, particularly about Telmex…

Eng. Carlos Slim – About what?

Héctor Herrera – Telmex. You said Telmex was not a gift that it has been…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Who says says that?

Héctor Herrera – You said!

Eng. Carlos Slim – I say it and bet on it!

Héctor Herrera – At this time, in the current situation, Telmex as such, without Telcel, is still a good business for Carso?

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, there is no business.

Héctor Herrera – Are you going to sell?

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, because it is a Mexican company. Otherwise, I would have sold it already! I agreed with my sons that it was not to be sold. Even more, I told them, “do not sell it during your life, or the life of our children. This is a company, you can sell a piece, but it has to be Mexican. Now, this is a company, look, to reduce such working liabilities, which are big MX$270,000 M, 270,000. It is not so big as CFE. But we build it, because they left it to us without pension funds. Then, we created a fund that is worth 160,000, out if which we take around 20,000, 25 each year of its annual production, we take it to make the Telmex survival viable, to keep it from going into debt without limit. I don’t know if I’m being clear. 

Héctor Herrera – Yes…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Then, we have 41,000 retired employees, we have 41,000 retired employees, and 20.000, and a similar figure, active employees, many of them are left, who will retire at 53. The workers attitude has been so positive, that they understand what is going on. First, many of them have voluntarily accepted to continue working for more years, and instead of working five days, they work four. Then, they were about 4 or 5 thousand, which is about 4,500, and now they are around 1,500, those who are still working in this voluntary scheme. That is, they do not retire at 53. They have the advantage of working four years, four days, I mean, having a higher retirement premium, because it increases every working year. 

But we had also talked with the staff and the union, about switching their shares, a will, for a part of their tenure. As they receive 160% or 180% of their previous salary, we consider giving Telmex shares to them in exchange of their tenure. We believed that, with that, we could achieve a reduction, sustantial in our mind, maybe 20% of working liabilities; they’d received a little less or less of their salaries, but when passing away, they left shares to their families, Now, when they die, they stop receiving their monthly payment. So, there was a serious talk, etc., but the SAT did not accept. They said that they would have to pay a tax, and we left things there. 

But we had not considered for them to become Telmex partners, and do you know at what price we offer them to become Telmex partners? Exactly, at the price the company was privatized 32 years ago. At the same price we purchased, we were proposing to them to make that change, at the same price. Even more, if we were not giving this support, this pension fund, up and down, it is still in negative capita.

Héctor Herrera – However, the workforce, let say, union workers. The union personnel and employees have been significantly reduced.

Eng. Carlos Slim – The what?

Héctor Herrera – The union workforce…employments having…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, the union workforce probably not, because we have to consider retired workers, they vote at meetings. It is the other way around; we have increased up to 61,000 people or more. The thing is that Telmex – no, let me finish, I think this is interesting for everyone. This Telmex has been in the red.

Héctor Herrera – For how long, Engineer?

Eng. Carlos Slim – For about ten years. Right now, evidently, this is question, and I hope to find the answer around here, is since when we are not collecting dividends and has to be fed by the pension fund. And well, we have up to the 40, I think on year 2030, I think that in one stage, and on 2040, it was all solved. Our problem from here to 2040.

Héctor Herrera – However, you decide to continue with the company.

Eng. Carlos Slim – With the company, yes. But we also have something very important. Today, we are the only company in the world. I’m exaggerating, almost, but there may be one or two in the same situation, who have no pay TV service. We have been blocked by the TV companies and the government. For five governments in a row, it has not been authorized. I started with Fox, and up to date, we have no pay TV, we are the only one in the world. Therefore, they have made us compete with an arm tied behind our back. Because Telmex is winning to the others. And they say that we are a monopoly that is not true. It is not preponderant either. It is not a monopoly, a monopoly is one, and there are many, and it is preponderant because it has dominated in mobile TV, having been the second in entering into the market, as I said. 

That is, Telcel entered into the market after the others, and now has the leadership, but because the others are not investing. Then, they say it has preponderance, well, yes! But, invest! Instead of complain, invest! This is a business where you have to invest a lot in telecommunications. And in Telmex, where they are not giving us pay TV up to date, and we should have it, to provide a full service to our clients, where there is no competition in pay TV, because before they were only two. Later a third one came in, but there were two, before. We, at Telmex, have no pay TV, we work without the pay TV service, which exacerbates Telmex needs.

Héctor Herrera – Listen, and this comment you are making is useful, as many affirm that you have been one of the businessmen more benefited by president López. Obrador?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, that is why we have this meeting today. For you to see the truth. Look, for example, here, they have not given pay TV to us, nor the Ifetel, nor the government. It started with Fox that it was somehow to be, that there were convergence. We have several governments with the pressure of competitors that you have seen whey they are, and how much are they worth, and what they owe.

Telmex has no pay TV so far, and has defended itself without pay TV. Besides, I think, in Telmex, I think that if we now do the math… Is Hector around? Did Hector come? I think that if we now do the math, we have a market share of around 35%. You have to see it all. Mobile telephony is one business, fixed telephony is another. There are countries or companies which only have mobile, and others who only have paid. For example, if you see TotalPlay, Izzi, Televisa, Megacable, and this one, they have no mobile, they are fully into TV. They are different business. Then, in telephony, were they say we are preponderant in fixed telephony, we have a market share of 30 or 35%.

Héctor Herrera – So, you are openly rejecting, that 

Eng. Carlos Slim – Sorry?

Héctor Herrera - maybe you are the most benefited businessman in this government?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, I don’t know. Now we have a market share of 30 or 35%, and I don’t see what benefit the government has given to me. And we can discuss it now, we can discuss what benefits I have given to his government, what we have done. Look, to start with, if out of all public works executed by this government, we have only received Stage 2 of the Maya Train. If, out of 7 or 8 stages, I don’t know how many there are. How many, Toño?

Out of the seven stages of the Tren Maya we have 2. We have been there, we have done it very well, and we have finished, etcetera. Stage 2 of the Tren Maya, if we have been the best and have finished; and in that stage we didn’t build the Viaducto nor the Station. You can take out that we’ve built 80, 85% of the Tren Maya. But, also, Carso Group, through its construction operation and our subsidiary in Spain, FCC, how many construction works do you think we executed between both companies last year? Give me a number?

Héctor Herrera – 30

Eng. Carlos Slim - 30 what? No, how much work money we made from works, US$5,000 M. Do you think that what we did in the Tren Maya is significant? It was one stage. Is the only public work we have made of this government. We have a relevant public work, which is the Mitla-Tehuantepec, from the Calderon government; and another that we have finished – which this government made a part of, but the work was from Peña’s government, not from this government. Then, our work, our constructions, construction companies last year, and these US$5,000 M, 3,000 from the one in Span and 2,000 from us. And what we have done in public work for this government, and later we will talk about Pemex, which is another factor. And what we have done in this company, only of public work, is stage 2 of the Tren Maya, 80 or 90%. Have done anything else, Toño? Maybe you have done something else!

Antonio García – That is, only 80% of stage 2.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Yes, stage 2. Only a section of stage 2. I’m only talking about stage 2. That is the reason for this meeting, for things to be clear. And ask in depth.

And look, there is another factor which has inflated things in this government. Do you know what has inflated it all? Or not? No, no, imagine that you have 100 pesos. And the dollar is at 20. How many dollars do you have? Five dollars. And if the dollar goes to 16? Well, you have more dollars. So, you do your accounts in dollars and, of course! Because from having dollars at 22 or 25, to have it at 17, let’s get everything in dollars! Am I being clear? It’s just arithmetic! You!

Ana Luisa Gutiérrez – Good evening, Ana Luisa Gutiérrez, from Expansión. I would also like to continue with the Telmex topic. You have recognized that today, Telmex is not as such a good business anymore, given the working liabilities. But, for example, I also would like you…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Oh, sorry! Due to working liabilities and because we have been excluded from giving convergence to our clients. Those are two, three factors. They have excluded us from giving convergence to our clients in the last 20 years, all the time. That is, we cannot provide pay TV to our clients; which inhibits the competence, which impacts consumers, and which is a mistake. Ok, is a failure, I think from both the governments and also of Ifetel, and the Cofetel too, because this comes from the Cofetel.

Ana Luisa Gutiérrez – These are two questions. I want to go to the autonomous organisms. The first one is this about Telmex, As you have explained, these three factors have prevented Telmex…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, there are other more…

Ana Luisa Gutiérrez – OK, but the most important are these, which have hampered Telmex from being a profitable business. My question is, then, which is the future, as you have said that you are not thinking about selling it either? Which is the Telmex future? That is, is it going to continue, because we have also seen that you have reduced your investments also for the business improvement…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, no…

Ana Luisa Gutiérrez – which also has been translated in lower, ok, additions. That’s my question. Which is the future you see for Telmex. The second one, the reform that is being proposed by president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is eliminating the Federal Institute of Telecommunications, which at the end is the regulator. I would like to know, if this passes, what the implications would be for América Móvil? Would you see it as something positive in regulatory terms, or would you see it even as a setback, or do you see more conflicts.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Ok, look, first, I don’t know where did you get the idea that we have not invested. You are wrong. You are wrong. We have invested a lot in optic fiber. Last year, that was going to be almost four million and a half, 4’000,300 optic fiber households, in a single year. I think that ended in 3,800 million… what is the number, Toño? We made 3,800 million households last year. So, the investment was very big. Aiming to avoid pressing Telmex all over, we have a leasing company making the investment and leases the network to it. 

So, we have invested a lot, well, we would be out of the competence. We have a very good optic fiber network, and what has allowed Telmex to continue being competitive, despite they do not give pay TV to us, Telmex is still competitive because he have two things: service, optic fiber, digital, ok, optic fiber, and because streaming appeared. So, we introduced Claro Video… instead of broad band we sell Netflix, and we introduce HBO, and introduce Amazon, that has made us competitive, in some measure. Why? Because everything is shrinking in pay TV, cable TV, don’t know if its clear. 

So, the cable is shrinking, they are losing clients around the world. We have many clients cable around the world and we are losing. Mainly the satellite is losing. Satellite pay TV is falling more than cable. So, with all, I don’t say with all due respect, because it sounds so ridiculous… but, yes, but we have invested a lot, continue investing in Telmex. Because for any reason we want Telmex to fall behind.  

Ana Luisa Gutiérrez – Perfect, but, if, for example…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Now, wait… I better not tell you, because I would give a tip to competitors, but perfect. But, let’s see, Telmex has its optic fiber network, is growing very well, it has several subsidiaries. Telmex is not Telmex, Telmex has a data centers subsidiary. Data centers are essential. So, Telmex has a subsidiary of the Last Mile which is the telecom network, the data center; and a security one, named Scitum, and has another one named Uninet. That is, Telmex is not alone, it has secondary operations underneath which are profitable.

Ana Luisa Gutiérrez – Perfect, but, if, for example…right now you are saying that pay TV is no longer so profitable. Then why wanting to enter into a business that, evidently is not profitable.

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, no, no. I didn’t say it was not profitable. I said it was going down. However, it is a service we would like to give to our clients. Because it turns out that the others give them full services, and we, incomplete. You, let’s see, who do you want to provide your services, one who is not giving pay TV, or one offering you the package. The one giving you the package. Well, that’s the reason why we are losing clients. So, it is very important.

Ana Luisa Gutiérrez – And, about the question of the disappearance, particularly of the Federal Institute of Telecommunications

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, talking about these points, the 20 points proposed by the president, I don’t want to discuss them. There are some that obviously I think are good, and others that I think are bad. But talking in general, for example, based on the experience from many years that I have, here, here it is, well, I’ve seen something that I think is great. And I think that it is great that the Supreme Court, that the three powers of the nation, of the state, have differences among them. That the Supreme Court decides something different than the Executive was unusual, it was not only unusual, it never happened. There was a substantial influence from the Executive on the Judicial. So, what I find extraordinary is that the Judicial Power decides about things against the Executive. I don’t know if I’m clear.

Now, I also believe that if they believe that the Supreme Court… the Supreme Court has to decide according the law. Now, if they think that they have to decide according to the justice, then, change the law. That is, is the law is unfair, change the law. But while the law exists, the obligation of the Supreme Court is to act according to law. I don’t know if I’m clear. OK, and I don’t know, if you remember one time when the Supreme Court and the Executive had been as they are right now. There are resolutions that are different. Then, what the Executive had to do, if he doesn’t believe that the law is fair, he should change the law. But while the law has certain shape, the Supreme Court has to vote according to the law, not according what could be fair or unfair, right? So, it is very important that for the first time we see, in my case, a division of two fundamental powers of the Nation.

Ana Luisa Gutiérrez – But, about the regulations, so you don’t want, in terms of the Federal Institute of Telecommunications? Any statement? Let’s say, what impact, good or bad, would have on America Móvil, as it regulates it?  

Eng. Carlos Slim – I would tell you that in the past, in the past, the IFT president and Cofetel’s were appointed… first, the Communications Secretary appointed his second one in the Cofetel, and in the past they appointed as a president, a lawyer from the Legal Direction, depending on Castillejos, who was the legal director, and whose boss was Luis Videgaray. Therefore, there was not an independent decision. And this friend, president of the Ifetel, went as Legal Director of ATT, so, very bad, no?

So, I think that if it is going to be autonomous, so be autonomous for real! But not an autonomous who is appointed as president of Ifetel, appointed by the legal director of the presidency. I’m talking about the previous government, and guided, managed by him; who is president of the Ifetel, and after leaving it, goes to ATT as legal director, it is not acceptable. 

Ana Luisa Gutiérrez – Perfect, now, If you allow me, finally, also within the reforms, there is also the internet issue, where the president Andrés Manuel López Obrador is practically giving preference to his state company, CFE Telecoms and Internet… the company CFE Telecoms and Internet, Internet for all, ant it will even have preference over companies clearly such as Telmex and América Móvil. I would like to know your opinion, if this poses a risk for competence.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, I think that what the president wants, Internet for all, he is not only right, I think that it is in the Constitution as a right. That the population has, just like access to education, to health, the right to the internet. Because, instead there is a gap with other countries, there is a bridge. There is a gap if people knows nothing or is not connected. But if it’s a bridge if they are connected. So, I’m sure that what has to be done, is ensure that everyone has access to the internet. As a matter of fact, efforts we have made at Telmex on that matter, I don’t know if you remember the Digital Village and digital libraries. Well, all that we have done is to disseminate it. 

I think the president, at the beginning, thought it was easier, giving internet to everyone. So, somehow as well, the president has been interested in having a state company in several activities; that is why Mexicana de Aviación, and this of the internet, and I don’t know what else, etcetera, etcetera. OK, the only thing I see wrong in this Altán thing, is, first, that they buy it with a huge fiscal loss, despite it is for 30 years. And second, that it has advantages against the competence, and that is bad, because they are not paying spectrum rental, it was given to them, so it is a handicap for all other competitors, that is, it should be a company competing just like any other of us. Despite preference given by the state to them. 

The president complains that the companies have not invested in some places. This is because, in the case of Telcel, our clients are counted. This is why we have preponderance, because they count our prepaid clients we have in marginal zones. We have told him, “hey, do not count where competitors don’t want to go, who also can use our network, do not count them.” So, we have inhibited ourselves for 15 years or more, and are going to invest in those places because all we do is winning clients and be more preponderant. I don’t know if that’s clear.

If we go to these places, even if clients are not profitable, we are going to have more clients. Then, today, I don’t remember the number of prepaid clients we have, many prepaid clients, who add as clients for the effects of preponderance, thus, we slow investment down. We discussed this a lot with Videgaray, the previous government at the beginning. That they allowed us to invest for the telecommunications development. That, for the preponderance purposes, they should not count clients in marginal zones. Nothing, from the government or the Ifetel. So, well, obviously that we would like to invest in those places, but they are accounted on us for preponderance effects.  

Despite of that, we have a lot of investment in many areas in many of the places. The government wants to build 12,000 towers, which will not be viable, they will be 2,000 or 1,500, and all others are CFE’s. Well, but those are not towers, well they are towers, but they have to cover those areas. So, the government has realized that it is not so easy. And it has bought one million and a half, two, I don’t know how many millions of lines it bought; satellite lines, which are very expensive, by the way. It is going to pay MX$1,500 M, I think. How much that was? A large figure that it is going to pay to Space, what’s his name? To Starlink. Well, it is going to cost a fortune that is the leasing payment, no? 

What we should do, is to reach an agreement, the companies, and make investment in the zones, and that everyone has service, having a general network in all these areas, that they all provide service to those places. And I think that it would be very easy to achieve this. But I think that they have focused it in a different way, and I think that those who are there, simply say that it is easy, that covering that is easy, and suddenly announce that they are covering I don’t know how many thousand and such, and then you learn that they had made a contract with Starlink, US$1,500 M, I don’t remember the figure, but it is large. But he is absolutely right, the president: Internet for everyone, particularly for the most marginated, it is very important for them to be connected. Some are already moving, in this Internet for everyone, when finding that it is quite difficult, they are wanting to provide the internet through the mobile, which is another Internet, which is having your network there, and everything, etcetera, your wifi, etcetera.

Inaudible voice

Eng. Carlos Slim – The what, sorry?

Inaudible voice

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, what do you want them to subsidize it for? Look, there is a pretty project in the US that I have already presented to the government, but they ignore me. In the US… here, for example, we pay a lot for the spectrum. If only a part of that part of the spectrum does it, that is not a special subsidy, but a part of what is charged, OK, they are charging a lot for the spectrum. In the US, what they do is, that there is a neutral fund providing free connection to some households, conditioned to such, and such circumstances. And last year, there were 21 million houses contracted by telephony companies within that neutral fund. It is almost paying, if we create a fund for what they charge for the spectrum, uh, you cover everybody. 21 million houses in the US paid through that neutral fund. So, let’s get a neutral fund and pay from it; instead of pecking here with Starlink, and one thing and the other. We won’t have time for the rest…let’s hurry!

Good afternoon, Amy Salman from Bloomberg – I would like to know, what do you think Mexico needs from the next government; and also, on energy topics, considering difficulties faced by the TMEC, do you think Mexico would need to relaunch oil rounds? If Mexico needs to start all over the oil rounds over again.

Arturo Elías Ayub – Mexico needs to relaunch the oil rounds.

Eng. Carlos Slim – I’ll go with the first one. Look, I think Mexico is needing two things, that I wish we can get. Eh, historically, investment has been relatively reduced. I think Mexico should go, and with that we transform Mexico very quickly, to an annual investment between 28 to 30% of the GDP. China arrived to 40, and reached 50. 28, 30% of the GDP. Here, in Mexico, we have touched 25, 24, 25. 

If we think, for example, that the private sector were above 20% of investment, which would not be difficult, we have been at 18, 19. That the private sector is at 20%, the government at 5, more less, around 5; and foreign investment at four or five, we could reach 28 - 30 of the GDP. And if we could invest 28 or 30 of the GDP, we should go fast towards development. And that would imply the nearshoring and everything we can see in foreign and national investment for this effect.

So, increase private investment a little, the total should be 28-30 percent. And at the same time, try to strengthen, as it has been done in this government, this government has made it very well, but we must continue it, that the low salary level can be improved, so the purchase power of the country population, allow us to combine… we can combine a 30% of growth, 28-30% with growth, with a better purchasing power of the country population, the country will rocket. I don’t know if I’m being clear. So, these are the two things. For example, what I would propose, as related to the minimum wage… as related to the minimum wage, there was a discussion to reduce it up to 40 hours. So, what I think is that the purchase power and the population’s welfare, are not achieved by working less, but by earning more. 

So, I think that what we should do is… there are many activities working 40 hours. For example, the whole financial sector works 40 hours. All people not working on Saturday, work 40 hours. So, we should, in a legal fashion that is, all state workers not working on Saturdays, all private workers, of the financial sector, such and such, not working on Saturday’s hours, leaving the minimum wage to them. And to those working 48 hours, instead of working 40 and start looking for overtime, increase their salary in 20%, and let them continue working 48 hours. And if he doesn’t like working 48 hours, let him switch to a 40-hours activity. I don’t know if I’m being clear. 

Who works 40 hours? The industry works 48 hours; restaurants work 48 hours; the commerce probably works 48 hours. If there, they work 48 hours and you pay them 20% more, also having the alternative of working 40 or 48, well that is very good because they will earn 20% more that would be important. 20%, 8 hours what’s the ratio from 40, 20%. That is, 40 hours, 48 hours minus 40? How much is it? Eight. And eight is 20% out of 40 that is why I’m talking about 20% more, so he will have the same rate per hour. That is, if the population can go earning more, significantly, better jobs, better salaries, yes? 

Rational, and at the same time we can invest 28 – 30, Mexico breaks the underdevelopment barrier. I don’t know if I’m being clear. And doing it is very viable; doing it is very viable. This government was a transition government. I wish that the next government, whoever may win, is a consolidation government. Take advantage of nearshoring.

There is a fundamental factor, the Chinese were wrong in two or three things. First, they declared economic war to the Americans. So, that thing of driving up transportation from 2,000 to 12,000 dollars, made me think that instead of having containers there, is better the nearshoring. Producing here, not having transportation, no expenses, and no increases from one day to the other. That’s it, you save on transportation, which also could be very manipulated. And another one, when hiding the chips, well, the Americans ran out of chips. There were no cars, no refrigerators, no nothing. So, they are already producing there. Then, they have realized that it is fundamental to produce in Mexico and the US. So. it is very important for Mexico to produce much of what China is producing now. It is not a convenience; it is a need of the US; it is the Free Trade Agreement. 

And what president López Obrador said was even unusual. When it was signed, he said that Mexico integrated to North America in the economic, do you remember? Well, let’s do that. 

Amy Salman – Well, just now…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Now, about oil, as related to oil, the truth is that the previous government, the two governments, abused a lot of oil. They overexploited Cantarell. Cantarell was of 1’600,000 barrels a day; 1’700,000; they took it over to 2,200, injected nitrogen, now all gas has nitrogen. They made a lot of stupid things, and overexploited oil. 

The previous government handed to this government a Pemex heavily indebted and without oil production, and without reserves, without a lot of exploration. And I think that this government in Mexico has found a lot of oil, onshore and offshore. So, what I think should be done… there are still about 350,000 barrels onshore that can be exploited. In how long, Toño? Six months? How long? Onshore, drilling a well takes 20 days, a well drilling… 20 days in a shallow well, 4,000 meters. Now, if you go 8,000 meters, it will take 90 days, but in Mars it will take a year and a half or two. 

Now, about what you’re saying, that they should open more, there are many open. We are entering into this oil business, in a field where drilling and exploration had been conducted since year 2016. Its name is Zama, but that due to conflicts and differences with Pemex was not working. Now, that looks better. Let’s see how the case works with the next government, the case of Pemex. 

Pemex is a company with capacity that can still have a potential, that was exploited… all governments exploited it, they took 60% of what it received was to the government. 60%. Then, in this government, they reduced it to 40, and then to 30, because Pemex is quite financially constrained. Its bonds reached 12% in dollars, and 12 and a half. Now I think they are around 10 and something, it is irrational. And I think those fields… how is that legally working, Alejandro?

Eng. Carlos Slim – That is, these are Pemex fields that can be shared somehow, like a maquila or a production, no? That is, out of existing fields, there is a way to start them up and make them operative, and productive. The thing is that many new fields are being made productive, but there are many old fields which are stop producing, that is what is happening to Pemex

Amy Salman – So, you don’t think that it is necessary to have more rounds because…

Eng. Carlos Slim – They are already done, what has to be done is that what’s done do it!

Amy Salman – OK, ok, and finally, which are the measures that the government should take to face the water crisis here in Mexico?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, that’s very simple!! Where, in Mexico. I have 20 years in Mexico insisting them to do it. Look, in Mexico rains four times more than what is consumed. I still don’t have the right numbers, because they’ve just given me other weird, which I do not believe. There are two regulation basins, do you know what that is? Regulation basins. It rains a lot, and as water is going to saturate the drainage lines, go to basins and is stored. When rains are over, they release it. Therefore, they have to be of infiltration, not of regulation. Am I being clear?

All that water must be infiltrated. So, instead of infiltrate it, when rains are over, they send it to the sewage. Then we have 35 cubic meters per second, which are being managed in Atotonilco, 10 of them must be brought back, am I being clear? We have sent all water from here goes to this place, 70%. It is treated, sent for irrigation, so you have to take it back, and it is not! How much do you think is being returned right now? Zero. 

Then, instead of having irrigation and 50% is consumed, they say much less is consumed in agricultural irrigation in the Valley, let’s develop a dripping irrigation project, which is very efficient. It is cheaper paying for dripping irrigation than paying water they consume. And there are infiltration ponds, there are many options, there are many options. Then, another one is that they were saying that there was a loss of 40% in the irrigation system. Now they say is 25%.    

OK, reduce loss in not irrigation, in water distribution system. Reducing 5 or 10%, you reduce five cubic meters, am I being clear? And in places near… they say there is no water in the North, that there is no…That is what the sea is for. It costs… how much did the last cost? 35 cents or how much? 35 cents every 1,000 liters? Well, you desalinize, and that’s it! It has no salt and you use it as potable, and recycle it after using it. And there you have it, water. There you have the sea to desalinize it. Desalinize is very cheap. 

Saudi Arabia and Israel are not requesting water anymore. In the past, Saudi Arabia and those places wanted to bring icebergs from the Artic to have water and so. And what they do now is desalinize water, and they have no problems any more. They even waste it. Now, let’s go to the other!

OK, continue with Telmex, le’ts continue with Telmex. Any question about Telmex?

Luis Pablo Segundo from the Reforma newspaper – Yes, if you said that in four administrations you had not received the permit for Claro TV to enter pay TV, I’d like to know if the project or the idea to still participating in this service is completely ruled out?

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, no, we have been patiently waiting 20, 23 years ago.

Luis Pablo Segundo – Considering that there is people going on and on…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, it doesn’t matter, it is profit. How many millions of clients are there? 15, 20 million, 20 million of clients. How couldn’t we want to have 5, at least.

Luis Pablo Segundo – And second, I’d like to know, this year it is also expected the third biennial revision to talk about the preponderance of América Móvil in the market, particularly Telcel. 

I’d like to know if you are still considering that there is a margin to continue reducing your presence in the market, or if definitively… Sorry, if you consider that there still are elements for reducing even more your market share or in this market…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, look, what they are doing to us is really stupid, and asymmetry. Because all others are investing what they receive from asymmetry instead of investing well. Now, they are competitors are resenting, because Altan is selling below cost. So, that is hitting them, that that client is selling cheap. Altan has a client to which is selling very cheap, and is taking market from them. 

I think that the regulator, I wish, tell him, please! The regulator, the famous Ifetel, must separate TV, mobile telephony, and fixed. And in fixed, the other way around. We have 30 and something of market share, and the others have a larger market share. OK, and allow consumers, that they talk about so much… Lately, the Ifetel has announced that has save them so much, saved so much. But that is for the subsidy they are taking from us from asymmetry. But If you really want to regulate, let pay TV clients buy from Telmex, am I being clear?

Now, it is so irregular, that in 1996 or so, the regulator authorized Telmex to buy 49% of Cablevisión. We had the permit, there was a precedent that they were giving it to us. They didn’t give to us an authorization… but to buy 49% of a company, specifically Cablevisión. We had 49% of Cablevisión, authorized by the regulator. And then, they started kicking us under the table, kicking us, and they still are. 

So, this is in fixed telephony, it must be separated. And in mobile telephony, what they should do to avoid being buying to Starlink, and I don’t know who else, also investing stupidly… what they should do is not counting clients we have in marginal places, make them not count for preponderance. Because, yes, we have preponderance there, because we have many prepaid clients. I think that we have around 80 million, I don’t know if there is someone with the figure. 70, 80 million of prepaid. But many of them are of a very small arco. Am I being clear?

So, and if we go and install more network, they count more. That is what is concerning us, that the regulator is taking preponderance into account in mobile, because we are in marginal markets, and in Telmex because it blends it with the other. They should split them…. Microphone, please.

Engineer Slim, good evening! I’m Gabriela Frías, from CNN. Seven years ago, more less, you gave a press conference similar to this one, were we talked about Donald Trump’s context in the US presidency and the TMEC renegotiation. You said that Donald Trump was not the terminator, that he was the negotiator. 

Eng. Carlos Slim – Ah, you did not forget!

Gabriela Frías – No, I did not forget. Your conference was live, and I remember very well. My first question is, you have seen Donald Trump in the presidency of the US. How did your opinion change or not change, if you can share it with us, as related to Trump. And knowing that he is leading the surveys among republicans and republican followers, which advice, which ideas would you give if Donald Trump returns to the presidency of the US? Thanks!

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, from many points of view, I had no idea how is going to be his relation with Europe, the issue with Ukraine, the issue with Rusia, the issue… If you realize, 20 years ago they were talking a lot about globalization. There, Economy Nobel Prizes, very disoriented, despite receiving Nobel Prizes, and doctors in such, and such, and such, invented that globalization was fundamental, that you should buy where it was cheaper. Then, Americans fell in the trap, also taking care of their inflation, and lost their capacity in the industrial sector. They became weak. They turn to the financial sector and purchased everything outside and didn’t produce anything domestically. Now, they realize that they have to produce inside. It is an error not to be great chip producers and go with technology, the fundamental parts of some materials and goods must be made at home, despite they are cheaper in Taiwan, or such. 

Well, that is a very important factor because, suddenly, changes appear. China became an industrial and production potency, it became the factory of the world, etc. So, now we are coming from globalization to regionalization. China is getting regionalized. It has invented that … before, BRICS were names given to under development countries, no? Brazil, Rusia, India… Now, it turns out that they are countries forming a region, a regionalization of economic cooperation and association. And they had the idea to get more countries in there, they got Arab countries, Iran, they have made their blunderbuss there. 

I think that the US had no choice…I was in the 20, during the pandemic, the president went to the US, he invited some of us to go to the Treaty signing. And there, the president saw the clear association with Mexico, he had no doubt, he had no doubt. And he made us talk, and I saw him, when I was sharing my opinion, that he agreed. That China already had 700 or 800 million in the middle class, and that what for us had been the NAFTA, had not been so good. Because in 25 years of NAFTA, we grew six times and a half. They grew 11 with China and we sixty something with China. And now we should do more a kind of maquila and such. An actual partnership among Mexico, the US and Canada, and we’re on it, that’s what we are doing. 

So, I have no doubt that he is clear about the competence with China. China is well organized there. Remember that it even managed the Silk Road, it has Africa half-controlled, it flirted a lot with Europe, and Europe is resisting, but Europe is living in the past! It is going to be a museum in a while! Because it is shutting its industry down. With climate change, it wants no more industry. I have insisted to some, that they should develop industries in Africa, invest in Africa, also to avoid Africans invading Europe. Africans are jobless. So, they should be given investment and work, and such, for them to work there, and have there the production source for Europe, and market of Europe, as well, because Africa is becoming an important market, they are over 1,500 million people.

Gabriela Frías – When was the last time you spoke with Trump, in that year in 2020? Was the last time you spoke with Trump?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Yes, when we went there.

Gabriela Frías – It was the last time. And what do you think about his performance as president of the US? And what do you think about what’s coming on year 2024 as related to Mexico with Trump in the presidency, Engineer?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, what I expect is what I was saying. Mexico investing 30%, improving purchase power, 28, 30%. I’m thinking in Mexico, I think it would be very good for Mexico. And, the president is insisting, smartly, that also the American government … Suddenly, you see that the American government is sending 80,000 or millions, 80,000 million to Ukraine, or I don’t know. What the president is proposing, which is not bad, at all, is that Americans invest in Central America. 10,000, 5,000, 15,000 million, to retain people in Central America, and not the Economic Integration Treaty be the only option, but also integrate Central American countries, to avoid migration. 

Now, what I expect is, if he wins, I don’t know what will happen in Europe,  I don’t know what will happen in the US. What I do believe is that the US is going to remove the climate change and the fracking production, and those things, I think he is going to remove them. And I think he is going to look for, because he knows that here in Mexico, we are good for production… workers are very good, and that they have no Bluecollar, and that Mexico can be a great goods producer, replacing many things from China and even some from the US. I think that would be good for Mexico. I’m talking about Mexico, not everything else.

Now, look, there is a weird thing, very fast. There is no question about the climate change. There is no doubt about the garbage stream that is discharged into rivers and lakes. This is a garbage stream that must be eliminated. But then, when they say that fossil fuels is responsible for the climate change. And that summers are hotter because of fossil fuels. And then, that winters are colder also because of fossil fuels, this is stupid. Or heats or cools, but not heats and cools, I don’t know if I’m clear! That thing that winter is colder is climate change, but that fossil fuels heat summer and cool winter, well, I don’t know what kind of magic they’re doing to make it heat in one season and cools in the other.

And then, additionally, that thing about heating of the oceans being caused by fossil fuels… There are things happening in the inside, we live in the outer little crust. It has to be investigated what is going on inside, to make more research, instead of being thinking about going to Mars and all of that, that besides, arriving there is going to take… Find out the effects of solar spots on the moon, find out the effects on the atmosphere, as in the ozone case. What effects… because the main problem of the world is a meteorite impact… volcanoes erupting at the same time and forming an insulation around the earth for many weeks, terminating photosynthesis and … that’s the hazardous! That is what we should see how to prevent it when the time comes. And that is what really affects. The, we have to study that all, I think.

Hello, Good evening, Mario Gámez from the CEO – On the same line as the participation of the Carso Group, mainly, for example in larger sectors. 

Eng. Carlos Slim – Shoot me all questions, because you are the one saying the larger number of nonsenses.

Mario Gámez – Yes! In projects which are priority for this administration, recently, besides a report from Oxfam, the CEO, our magazine, reported contracts granted via direct assignment and bids, for over MX$61,000 M, to companies or subsidiaries from the two main conglomerates, where…

Eng. Carlos Slim – MX$61,000 M was the figure allocated to Acapulco and to other thing… I don’t know where the… are coming from, but let’s continue and we’ll talk…

Mario Gámez – This is through a public review of contracts with Pemex, CFE and Compranet information.  My question is…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Do you mean “compra-venta”

Mario Gámez – Compranet. So, my question is 

Eng. Carlos Slim – Because now it has turn out that I have a yacht that is worth US$125 M and they said that I was selling it in 50, 40 or 30, let’s see how much they give, but is worth 125.

Mario Gámez – Do you think that the relation with the current president has not been profitable to you, what can you attribute the growth you have had?

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, take the microphone away. Speak without the microphone… Speak lauder, lauder…OK, the first thing is the contracts for 61,000; then… 

Mario Gámez – A series of contracts, yes. Specifically, my question is, as you have said in this conference, see that the relation with the president has not been profitable on your bottom line; in the growth of some divisions, for example Carso Energy or SICSA, or a substancial growth in the revenue generation. Then, ask you directly, engineer, to what can you attribute this unprecedented growth of both, the fortune and the companies’ market value.

Arturo Elías Ayub – That if you relation is not so good, how is that your fortune has had such a growth… bla, bla, bla, why your fortune has increased so much.

Mario Gámez – Not only that, because it also has to see with some business units, such as SICSA or Carso Energy, which have had a substantial growth, as found after checking their financial statements.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Why don’t you do the homework, a bit more of homework and learn that go up and down, without reason. I don’t know if they go up or down, win or not, is worth five times or is worth 15 times. Go and see the market value, first, which is what makes things change. That is what they are measuring, which I will not be measuring their value every day or every month or every year. I don’t make evaluations, ever. That if the value is this, or the other, am I clear? Suddenly, Inbursa increased its value from 30 to 70. What does have to do with the government? 

Mario Gámez – Now, Carso Group, for example.

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, let’s talk about Inbursa Group.

Mario Gámez – Carso Group is one of the ones raising the most, so far in this government, for example, after checking dates, granting of some projects, no? Because…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Now, let’s talk about Inbursa, first. Inbursa is at 54 and it was 30, I think today, that went up. Look at it because it went up, and measure it because it went up. Do you understand. What the government did to make it raise? Something? Did it give us something? See its investment in the government, how many credits are there in the government, and then see if it is relevant. Inbursa is not relevant in businesses with the government, am I clear? All banks have credit with the government, and credit I don’t know what. So, go to Inbursa, then, Carso. What has Carso done with the government? Well, look, it has worked in the construction we’ve been talking about, that section, worth about 12,000, the Tren Maya, worth like 12 or 13…

Mario Gámez – 15,000 million

Eng. Carlos Slim – I don’t know if you take the other away. Let’s say 15 or 16, whatever you like. How many years have been taken to do that, Toño? It is about five a year. OK, 5,000, remember we make 2,000 of construction a year. 2,000 in dollars are 35,000 or 37,000. So it represents about 12% of what Inbursa makes. Then, what else?

Mario Gámez – There is the case, for example, of América Móvil…

Eng. Carlos Slim - No, no we are in Carso. Then, works we are making in Mitla, from the time of Calderón. We started in the time of Calderón, 2008 – 2010

Mario Gámez - In 2010 it was granted to you.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, right, there is it! Then, what does it have to do with this government? Then, the other in Vallarta, where we started with Peña, in what year?

Mario Gámez – No, I don’t have that date in mind.

Eng. Carlos Slim – When? On 2013, what does it have to do with this government?

Mario Gámez – I mean, it is relevant because the company’s value and the fortune…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, that’s from 2013, what does it have to do with this government?

Mario Gámez – You never, never had grown as much as with this administration…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, no, no I don’t care if it grew or not, is 2013, ok? Now, did you understand about the dollar at 22 or 25, and the dollar at 17, or you did not?

Mario Gámez – Yes, of course!

Eng. Carlos Slim – Imagine that I have 100 pesos at 25. How many dollars? Four. 100 pesos at 25, how many? Four. And at 17? ABout 6, 50% more. And that has nothing to do with if I win more or win. IT is simply that the dollar is at 25, at 17. So, if it is at 17, you have more dollars. Do you understand that, no?

Mario Gámez – Yes, of course.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, that’s the bottom line of all that you are saying.

Mario Gámez – Now, in a context of …

Eng. Carlos Slim – Have you taken notes of that?

Mario Gámez – Yes, at the beginning of this government, for example, there was some hostility from some businessmen, hostility or indifference to the government. And when performing the hemerographic investigation, for the president, you are the business man he has meet more times in private during his government. I don’t know if that could also…

Eng. Carlos Slim – And with the Tren Maya more, I spent four hours there! No, look! Toño has more! Toño was there every two weeks! He is Carso’s director! But, what…?

Mario Gámez – But, is there no, somehow, a conflict of interest?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, I’m going to explain, more less, what we have done with the government, with this one. We have done this, ok? We have drilled for Pemex. We have five onshore drills which have drilled, I don’t know how many wells, and each well we drill are 8,000 barrels for Pemex, not for us. How long have you been without drills that have not been used? How many years?

Eng. Carlos Slim – We have 12 years with 13 drillers, which we have not used, that despite it has fields where we could use them, he doesn’t give us the contract, we have no contracts with them, ok? 13 onshore drillers stored for 12 years, this government and the previous one. It is also stupid that they are not using them, because it would be 900 barrels each, no? Now, how many barrels do you produce? With those 5, how many wells have you drilled, Toño? That is, 12 of about 6,000 barrels? Eight, seven, how many? No, but daily, more or less? How many?

We have drilled 12 wells of 7,000 barrels. It is a drilling contract we sign with Pemex, and for each drilling we make, there are about 7,000 barrels a day. That is, the drilling is paid, when is each perforation paid, in two or three months… That is, the drilling contract we have is paid every three months. 

Mario Gámez – Yes, perfect, engineer, and to…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Now, we have a jack-up we build long ago that drills offshore. It is another rental that pays rent for drilling offshore. How many wells have you drilled in the sea, in this government? That jack-up, how long has it been… Toño? From which year is it? No, no, it comes from Calderón, comes from Calderón, it is from Peña and from AMLO. 

And that is a jack-up which is a legged-platform, you seat them, drill raise the legs and move to drill another point. So, it is constantly drilling in the sea and is loaned. We, of course, pay fuels, the crew… and are constantly drilling offshore. Wells Pemex has in fields they have, they tell us and we go. Then that comes from Calderón. If you want to go in detail, we are pleased that you do, and we discuss it in detail with people.  

Mario Gamez – Perfect! Just to close…

Eng. Carlos Slim – You were saying something about CFE…

Mario Gámez – No, just your opinion …

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, tell me about CFE…

Mario Gámez – No, no, nothing about CFE, I want to ask about this study from Oxfam…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Let’s see, let me tell you something else, we have explored geothermal, we have two geothermal areas explored, arranged, pas, pas, pas, and ready. How many years ago they have not been authorized, the government, this one, our friend government, has not authorized them. How long, how long do we have, Toño? Everything is ready to be… How long? 

Antonio García – Seven years

Eng. Carlos Slim –Since the last government, everything… Geothermal, you know what geothermal is? At 2,000 meters there is water with gas, pa, pa, pa… the steam goes up and that steam is not pollutant, pa, pa, pa…We have two, and it has not been authorized for years.

Mario Gámez – OK, perfect! Now, to close, about the Oxfam study discussing the wealth concentration. There something interest in what is claimed by president López Obrador, about separating the political power from the economic power. And I would like to ask you, if you think this should be achieved, and how could we reach this scenario, of separating powers, that has a lot to do, according to this study, with the very wealth concentration in Mexico.

Eng. Carlos Slim – What do you mean by separate? Look, well, you, where you are? Do you all work in the media? What do you think is mode important? A businessman economically strong, or three, or the media? I’m including TV companies, mainly… What has more political power in the world? Haven’t you realized? Haven’t you realized the power of the media? In the last government, you did not realize, for example? You have not realized which is the actual confrontation of AMLO, with what? Well, think about it for a while…

No, wait that is one. The other… what you are saying about concentration, what is it causing… Those studies are stupid, and any time you want we can discuss it with them. What has to be distributed is not wealth. Let’s see, if you had to distribute wealth, even as the government says, which is wrong, let’s them distribute Pemex shares, that is the people’s wealth. Who owns Pemex? Of the people…of the country.

Why did’t they distributed the shares. When Pemex was worth a lot, why they did not give shares to the people? Because the people don’t want shares! They want income! You have to differentiate between wealth from income. Wealth has to be used to create more wealth, and to distribute the fruit of such wealth that is income. 

It is like a fruit tree. You have a fruit tree, what do you distribute? Branches? What do you distribute? The fruits! And what do you do with that fruit, do you distribute it all? No, you keep a part of it to create more trees. To create more trees, more wealth, more trees, yes? And fruits are wealth, I mean, are income.

What has to be done in the world, is distributing income. And that income, generated by the company, has several alternatives. One is, the party used to pay salaries, direct, which is very important, the one that governments take a lot of money from. Because, today, they collect a tax over minimum wage. In the past, no tax was imposed on the minimum wage. I think people should receive a tax exemption, I think, that up to two or four minimum wages. For that income from the salary, which is very important, goes there. The other part distributed by the company, importantly, are taxes, and rights, and social security, and pa, pa, pa. So, that it is also distributed as a part of the fruit, of the operation, and wealth. That part is important. What is distributed to workers, and what is distributed as tax. 

What is paid? In brief, you pay the 30. There are not a lot of deductibles, so that ends up being much more than 30 in tax. Then you add PTU over salaries, and then you add social security and INFONAVIT, and 15 of Siefores, and such, and such, and such... and you can do… Ah, and VAT, that is also paid, and that, at the end, that one is paid by the worker. It is paid even by those having a small income, because is in the consumption, am I clear?

So, you have to see the whole structure, not only say, ah, they grew… what happens if shares of Carso, Inbursa or América Móvil increase a lot, let’s say, triplicate? What are the implications? They are the same companies. OK, and what happens? Which are the benefits for workers? Nothing! Benefits speculators or investors, no? The speculator who buys today at 100 and then goes to 130 and sells; and the one who is looking how he is buying and selling, what’s buying, what’s selling, am I clear? Or the investor who buys to keep it for 10 years or five years; or who is permanent investor of the stock. For example Carso, it went up, how much?

Mario Gámez – Uh, a hundred and something pesos. 

Eng. Carlos Slim - No, no, no, 192 or 190! What’s the price now? 150! So, why do you see when it goes up and not when it goes down? Hey, it came from 190 to 150! And it still is the very same company! A little bit better, look at it!

Mario Gámez – Yes, that was January adjustment… 

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, I don’t use another word because I see there are many women here but…No, look, I’m going to ask you a favor, why don’t you go in-deep with someone from here, to clarify everything, to analyze everything. And, what is the name of that thing…Oxfam. And, does it come from family or what? No, If you want, one day we sit and discuss with them. That is speculative, talk nonsense, invent one thing to say, this is happening, and this is the result of such thing. 

Good evening. Italia López from Bloomberg Online – I would like to ask you, about this topic of business expansion and everything else. We are interested in the energy sector. I would like to ask you if you are planning increase the Talos participation in Mexico. And also ask you about your plans for this oil business you acquire from PetroBal, for those fields of Ichalkil – Pokoch, what’s your perspective on that?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, look, that was the fourth topic, or the fifth, or I don’t know what number, but just think there are a lot. After Telmex, there are 20, 34 companies. That is, after the Telmex acquisition, there are 34 companies, somehow new, or more! Well, I won’t get there. So, in short, we are getting inside. We have a company named Carso Energy, you know about it, right? That has two hydroelectric plants, in Panama, ok? And has two gas lines in Texas, and one gas line in Mexico, yes?

That gas line was completed in this government and started in Peña’s, it started in Peña’s. And we are considering another possible gas line, which is the continuation of this one. And probably, if it concretes, CFE would keep a percentage, minimum, and once it is terminated, the rental would be up to 49% of the pipeline.

Well, that is another project. But this project is a connection to this one. I don’t know if I’m clear. It is not a new line to take gas to one place, but a continuation of this line. Then, in this line that we already made, we increase pressure to be able to send more gas. So, gas increases 100%. 

Well, then, we are interested in participating in oil, we have made a decision to enter into the oil sector. And that implies gas, as well. So, we are already active in oil. We have 15 years or more being active in oil, but with what we were saying, drilling and also building rigs. That rig named jack-up, that I was telling you about… when did we start it? 15 or 12 years, no? Well, we build it a long time ago, associated with Norwegians. So, we have made a jack-up. How many rigs have you build, historically?

Antonio García: I think that about 50.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Ah, do not exaggerate!! Ok, many! He says that around 50, they have been made of all sizes, rigs and drilling, and the jack-up.  And we bought, I think last year or the previous one, two very complicated that are called semi-submersible; and are large platforms used in deep-sea drilling. This jack-up… well, fixed rigs are used up to 120 meters; they have legs, the jack-ups; the semi-submersible, those are from 150 to 3,000 meters, 2,000 meters of water. We have two, and those two have not worked yet. We haven’t put them to work, yet.

One of them has just been completed, to be ready to operate, etc. So, we are already in, not only producing, fitting out or helping to drilling. But we are also introducing into oil. And having invested in Talos is because we are interested in being partners with someone who is experienced. Not all what they are doing is in Mexico, they have a lot in the Gulf, in the US part, it drills, works with gas, etc. So, we want to work with a company that has experience. 

Italia López from Bloomberg– So, eventually, would you like to increase that share you purchased in Talos  México?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Sorry?

Italia López – So, eventually, would you like to increase that share you purchased in Talos  México?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, yes, but it depends on the conditions, but yes, of course! Here, we already have 49.9, from the one in Mexico, which is secondary. Rather our investment is being made in the parent company. There, today we have about 22 and something. But as it acquired a company, Talos, then it decreases to 18 and something, what we have in Talos. But that is Talos, US. Which is the one that we are interested on, independently from the one in Mexico, because that is the parent company, that has a subsidiary named Talos Mexico, etc. etc. 

Italia López – And on these investments that you also made in oil refining in the US, also with investments, shares purchasing in an oil refining company in the US, are you also interested in getting deeper in this topic?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, there we had very important investment, given the company’s characteristics. We made a little reduction, or a big reduction in the ownership, but we are interested. It is a huge company that that became worthless, it was worth 5 dollars, and now is worth 50. 

The CEO, you are CEO, analyze that one! In that we had 20%, 19%, and it reached 5 dollars, almost 6. This is a company refining almost one million barrels a day, I think Gerardo is not here, right? No, Gerardo Curiel. Anyway, these are like 950,000 or one million barrels a day; and it acquired a refinery which was very expensive. The crisis stroke, the pandemic stroke, and it faced huge problems. But on year 21, it paid all of its liabilities. It is a company worth US$6,000 M, US$6,000 M dollars, without liabilities, and producing 950,000 barrels a day. Then, imagine, now you make one of 300,000, and you spend a fortune, and that is worth 900,000. 

I think that is one of the right things this government made in refining. I’d say that the most important, was having purchased Deer Park, which is producing, I think, 280,000 barrels a day, and was paid in six months. 

Italia López – And finally, I would like to…

Eng. Carlos Slim – We are not interested in buying it something, but we are interested on being in the sector, because there is the link, production, refining, be a bit closer to petrochemical, etc., etc. 

Italia López – And finally, I would like… going back to the point of water, you have proposed some projects…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Eh, eh, eh, sorry! You, from CEO, what is worth is for you to study well how was it purchased, what has it done, why is in that circumstance. I have the impression that a bit of the demand there was to increase shares, or to buy shares, the Carso Group was involved in the entry to the oil topic. I guess… Sorry…

Italia López – Yes, I wanted to ask… returning to the water issue, you have presented to the Government of Mexico City, a couple of years ago, some projects to face the aquifer overexploitation.

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, no, look, I got into this topic of water… and despite that in the book the president didn’t mention, it clearly, and I haven’t read the book properly, because I saw it yesterday, about the Historic Down Town. When the president came to have lunch with me, I didn’t know him, he was Government’s Head Elected. By the way, he was introduced to me by Héctor Aguilar Camín… when he was about to take office… when did he? 2000. Anyway, and he invited me to invest in Reforma. 

And I told him, look, “In Reforma, I don’t get in, but I do get in Historic Down Town, why don’t we get into the Historic Down Town”. And he said, yes. Ok, all we need is the president to agree. And the president agreed. That was on year 2001, more less. Then, in August 2001, I researched about the water topic, because I knew it was subsiding, and it turned out to be the aquifer. Then, there was a very recognized engineer, he died… I visited him in those years to ask him and inform me. Originally, the Historic Down Town was overexploited, with baths, there were a lot of public baths which had water pumps and sucked, causing lot of subsidence, Downtown. Even the Cathedral, the National Palace, etcetera. Then, they took wells out of Downtown. That attenuated things a lot, but, since then, the proposal has been, and I’m talking since 2001, ahead, over 20 years, 23, that we should avoid the aquifer overexploitation. 

And the truth is that I have not been able to connect. I proposed it to three presidents, one told me, it makes sense; I presented it to AMLO when he was  Government’s Head, to his successor, Alejandro Encinas… in short, we have been bouncing but have not concreted it. And I hope that in this new government, finally, finally, it is creating a crisis; then, unfortunately we have to wait until it is a crisis to find a solution. But no, no agreement was made. There were talks, discussions, etc., about how to solve it. It as I had told you, you have to bring water from that which has been managed, you have to make them … clean ravines in Las Lomas, for water to flow and infiltrate. They are forcing us, and that is good, in every building we construct in Mexico City Downtown, there has to be a storm water collection system, to store it and make an infiltration. I don’t remember how many meters are considered, 80, I don’t remember how many. And I think that for next year, I don’t want to say too much, but I hope for next year they are convinced.

Engineer, good evening, Karina Suárez from El País – Just two questions…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, no, there has been nothing, no actions; we have done nothing…

Karina Suárez from El País – Just two questions…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Let him to go up, to sit down…

Karina Suárez – I just want to know your opinion about the pension reform proposed by the president. Do you think it is viable and endorse it?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, it is over here. Look, I think that it is very important how pensions are managed. In some cases, it is proposed that it should be higher than was previously earned, that’s illogical. If I work 30 years or 40, and make 100 pesos, I think it is healthy… I’m talkig about net pesos, not gross…It is relatively healthy if he earns 90, 80 if you exaggerate, or the best if you make 100, ok? Why do I say that he should make a little less? Because I don’t have to pay transport to go to work, I don’t have to buy clothes and ties, and jackets, and I don’t know what to go to work. My children have grown up and I don’t have to take them to school. There is a different level of life. 

But let’s imagine, the president wants to be more aggressive and generous, and let them receive that as a minimum. I think it should be, let them make that, no more, I don’t know if I’m clear? I should make… I’m going to work 35 years and I have a salary. My salary of the last year, let it be net, tax free, let that be my perception when I retire. That’s very good. But I have some extras in here… Then, he passes the 4,000 he gives in parallel… For me, those 4,000 he gives in parallel… he has established that universally, but it is illogical. For example, he should be giving those 4,000 to me, but, no, it is not logical. So, there is about one million people, who have such an income level that it is not justified for them to receive 4,000 pesos. And those 4,000 pesos are 50,000 million a year. That is a lot that could be targeted to other activities! 

About that, the truth is that I believe so, but he must be careful, he should… he talks about 65 years. I do agree about 65 years, but he shouldn’t put it in the Constitution, because it is probable that in 10 or 5 years, we’ll live 90 or 100. So, we should give them a little push, I’m I clear or not? Now, 65 sounds good, but with all that about health, if we start living 100 years, you have to give a little push at 65. Now, that about scholarships to students, and that, I think it is very, very good! Universal health, universal education, of quality and modern – which is not being given – and is very important, I would give priority to health and education. Because that finishes retired people.

Which is the main problem of a retired person? You retire, leave the company, and you have no insurance, they should give health insurance to you. So, it is very important that health is universal. Health and education, health and education of quality. Housing is very important, free medical attention, which is very important, I don’t know if for everyone, but I think it is important.

Karina Suárez – And the minimum wage…

Eng. Carlos Slim – I’m coming, I’m coming… Ban animal cruelty… Before writing this, I would say, ban human cruelty! First human beings, which are abused a lot. We know there is abuse, rapes; children prostitution, girls prostitution… there is a lot of human abuse. I would worry for human beings before animals. So, animals should be cared of, but first you have to protect people against violence, children abuse. I think that, instead of animal welfare, first human welfare, I really would change that. There should be human welfare, yes, you know all abuse that there is everywhere… violence, domestic violence; daughters are sold in many places, they rent them, and there is tourism… No, no, it is horrible, what you can find. You have to worry about that, animals come later.

About transgenic maize, I have my doubts, about mining concessions I think that is also a mistake, because in strict sense, a quarry where you extract aggregates, is a mine… Thus, to take aggregates, basalts, is it going to be forbidden? Is it going to be discussed? Because that is mining, it is not metal mining! So, are you only talking about mining, or mining concessions? If a concession is granted to extract, I don’t know…materials, phosphates, fluorine, rocks, etc… I think it is a mistake, because they are all open pits. I think that is a mistake. Now, about water, I think it is important, but instead of rationing it, that is, saying that it is only for domestic use. No, what has to be done, is recycling water, desalinate water, solving the water problem not repressing everything.

About minimum wages, I think it is important. All businessmen have agreed in raising salaries. It has been a huge, substantial increase, and that is good, there have been no complaints from businesses, that is important. Here, he shouldn’t set it beyond inflation. I think that item is ok. 

And so, in general, remunerations of the public sector. This is interesting because the truth is that they have teachers with very bad salaries, nurses with very bad salaries. The state not only pays very badly, but it also retires very badly. Then, they have salaries with some inventions that, the moment people retire, they remove the inventions and then the pension is quite punished. 

I think that is a good decision, it says this is the average of what is granted by Social Security. Anyway, I think that what is here is a mistake, it says that about pensions, that they will use what is needed to compensate workers affected. This is from 97, and I think it would be a 26 years step back, a 26 years step back. I think we should be thinking forward.

It is necessary to guarantee development, employment and work. This proposal, unemployed for one year, they should be trained, but unfortunately it is only for one year, and it is a sort of employment insurance. In general, there is, for example, the right to the internet. I think we all agree. There are some others here, for example, the Judicial Power, I have already told you, I believe in the Judicial Power, the fundamental issue is that the Powers Division continues. Because if they do the election, and do it democratically, and there is a party which keeps all votes… that party is going to control everything. I think the logical thing is continue with the Powers Division. I will not continue with more things, but in short, I think there are very good things and others, not quite. 

Karina Suárez – Thanks.

Hello, how you’re doing, Eng. Slim. Good evening, my name is Álvaro Delgado, I’m Research Subdirector of Sin embargo, digital magazine. In the last book by president López Obrador, he talks about what you said before…

Eng. Carlos Slim : The one of yesterday?

Álvaro Delgado – No, from last week.

Eng. Carlos Slim . They gave it to you before…

Álvaro Delgado – Yes, I have it before. In this book, the last by the president, he talks about what you said before, but more detailed, saying that you, in the context of the election of year 2018, you were proposed as presidential candidate. The specific question is, in which circumstances and who, specifically, made this proposal to you. I understand that, as a minimum, there are two characters, Claudio X González Laporte y Alejandro Ramírez Magaña.

Eng. Carlos Slim – None of them.

Álvaro Delgado – Who made that proposal to you, then?

Eng. Carlos Slim - No, look, it was in the social media. The origin are social media. Don’t you remember? Check it, investigate… is there any footprint left? “Yes” So, you should follow the path of the social media. The social media started talking about it on 2017 and more on 18.

Álvaro Delgado – But specifically, with former president Peña Nieto, was this proposal made to you?

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, no! On the 18, it was on the social media, and there were some proposals of a few people, who I’m not going to tell you, but they are not Claudio nor Alejandro, none of them. So, there were a few, and it started in the social media, and sort of that. And then, I read that Arturo also wanted to be candidate… that is not true, I don’t know who made that up. Even more, Arturo has receiver proposals to be candidate to many things, and he doesn’t accept. Arturo is Arturo, just like you see him! No, no, no, I’m telling the truth.

Álvaro Delgado – This is one question, the other is the proposal made in the context of the Davos Summit, in Switzerland, from a super-wealthy group, to collect more taxes from them.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Now, you are like The CEO. Look, I’ve never been to Davos, because it is my birthday, and I rather stay and celebrate my birthday than going to Davos. I don’t care who they are and I don’t care. What are they proposing, paying more taxes? Look, to everybody, that plan started by Gates and followed by Warren Buffet, I think it’s nonsense. What these businessmen should do, if they really think leaving a footprint, and using money, etc. What they should do is, in life, is dedicate themselves to social work.  

Because working for others, make sure others are well; having, for example, the case of foundations, and make foundations not to give, but to get involved. For example, Bill is getting increasingly involved, but before, having a foundation was giving this much to this foundation, this to another, it was just like distributing money, well, that is stupid. And the money that can be given by all these businessmen, American, to say something, if you see it as a part of the American budget, is nothing, it is zero, I’m I clear? 

The American budget, and the GDP, and whatever you like, which is another mistake made by the CEO, no, not them, those… what’s their name… Oxfam, that they link GDP with capital, and they consider it as patrimony, and they measure patrimony, and they do not consider the national patrimony… These friends have 10% of the patrimony, 5% of the national patrimony. 

That is not true! The national patrimony includes Pemex, CFE, the government territory, the state… the one owned by the state is 99.9% of it all, I’m I clear? And I’m talking about any country. So, it is not the national patrimony, it is as a part of the patrimony of I don’t know who… And then they link income with GDP, which has nothing to do… patrimony with GDP. Maybe it has to do with the income generated by that business group, with the GDP, not the patrimony value. I’m I being clear, or just a little?

Álvaro Delgado – Just a little…

Eng. Carlos Slim – The GDP is income generated by the society, and there you would introduce income generated by companies of a group. Then, you could tell that this companies generate only 3% of GDP or 5 of GDP, am I being clear? But you can’t compare the GDP with patrimony. Those are two different things. Anyway, the last question was…That they are wanting…what…

Ah, about paying more taxes! I have a belief, opposed a bit to what the government says…Who do you think is more efficient and knows better how to manage resources, how to manage human resources, financial resources and material resources? The businessman or the politician? Who do you think? I think it is the businessman. Look, when they say that state companies are very good, they are shit, my friend! Pemex directors last two years in all three previous governments, two years! There cannot be a company where they change their director every three years, I mean, every two years! And that was the Pemex of Fox, the Pemex of Calderón, and the previous Pemex. It cannot be! There is a change every six-year period, that cannot be. And then, unions end up managing the company. No, I think that people saying that more taxes should be paid, they should use money for the good of society. 

Because more social work can be made by a businessman than by the government. Look at objectives proposed by the president. Many of them are excellent, but who will be able to do them, with what money are they going to do that? With what organization are they going to do that? What organization will provide universal health? We have already seen what happened in the health sector… It is not a matter of intention; it is a matter of execution. It is not idea and intention; it is about execution. OK, read all 20 items, you have already read them, no? Do you think there is going to be universal health, and free medical attention for everyone? And there is going to be medicines? It is not easy! It is not easy!

There, what the businessman should do, is contributing, not paying more taxes and make it deductible; no, contribute in giving more money that taxes he could pay, and not wait to die and see who will do it. That should be done in life. I recommend you to read Gibran Jalil Gibran, do you know who he is? Gibran Jalil Gibran, Lebanese writer. Read about gifts, when a wealthy man asks him what should we do? I don’t know what. The analysis he makes about gifts. The gift is not waiting until you die and someone else does it; or tell my children, “I will not leavy my patrimony to you”. That is what Warren Buffet is doing. I’m going to give you 1% of… no, leaving them money instead of leaving them responsibilities, I don’t know if… Now, those businessmen should be some jerks… 

Álvaro Delgado – Heirs.

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, no, that they cannot make an agreement, they are going to pay more taxes, what for!? The state is very inefficient! See what Americans have done! They gave 300,000 dollars, that is pure politics. With your policy, you are trying to have money to use it, to be elected later, to have a good evaluation, and just see how they are spending! Look, even this year we’re going to end with a deficit of 5.4, which is unusual for the president. But look at the US, that first spent I don’t know what; then Trump spent a fortune, and then comes Biden, and so as not to look bad, gives 30,000 dollars to each person, and then we have underemployment. No, there are no jobs, it is scarce, it is filled. With US$30,000, him and his partner another 30,000, those are 60,000 dollars, and work in I don’t know what, it is insane. US$60,000 a month, dollars. 

Álvaro Delgado – Thanks.

Eng. Carlos Slim – You have seen the deficit in the US. The debt, is insane, just because they use the little machine. Ah, sorry, and that is what is causing inflation, inflation in the US. There is an inflationary pressure due to the currency circulation excess. No, no, no! What we, businessmen should do, is work, work and help. For example, in the unit, and I’m going to show off a bit, in the Medical Health Unit we established in the pandemic, we directly managed over 10,000 people. We had 630 beds, we made two strong donations to the one in Monterrey and in Guadalajara, because they didn’t put money in a finished hospital. Beds were missing, I don’t know what was missing. And in the earthquake, we did a lot in the earthquake… I think those were around MX$4,000 M pesos, to make repairs at good price, and now we are in Acapulco. But we are going to solve and execute, not to … how would I say, to act, to act very well. Sorry, do you want to say something?

Good evening, Engineer, Christine Murray from the Financial Times. First, I would like to ask your opinion about the growing role of the Army Forces in the country’s economy.

Eng. Carlos Slim – In general, or what?

Christine Murray – In general.

Eng. Carlos Slim – I think Army Forces are excellent, but I think it is too much, it is too much. Look, for example, when they were invited to participate in the construction, it was very good. Because just as there are military doctors, there are military engineers. And some military engineers are excellent. And it is better than many soldiers or a lot of personnel, instead of being quartered, are working. I don’t think that is bad. Just as military doctors, military engineers who are working receive a lot of recognition, their work, their performance, their speed, good, etc. But involving them in so many things, I think it is excessive.

Christine Murray – Is this something you are concerned about, or you just think it is not their responsibility.

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, no, no. I think each president is Chief of the Army Forces. Therefore, I think that each president should think which is the best way. But, for example, they are starting to manage many companies, which I think they shouldn’t, but a lot of companies that are going to lose. It will be a problem to be managing companies that will report losses, but it is not their fault. So, I would say that maybe they are in too many things. Not maybe, they are in too many things.

Christine Murray – I would like to ask you about Line 12 of the Metro. 

Eng. Carlos Slim – What, about, sorry…

Christine Murray – The Line 12 of the Metro. As far as I know, no officer, no person from the private sector faced charges in investigations as related to the bridge collapse, are you concerned about perception?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Why the private sector?

Christine Murray – From any contractor…

Eng. Carlos Slim – But why not from the public sector?

Christine Murray – Sorry…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, that Metro worked for 12 years and nothing happened. It is not something from its origin. After 900 M of passengers, OK, then…

Christine Murray – So, that is my question, if you think there was any…

Eng. Carlos Slim – I think that is something quite discussed, there were opinions, the Dictamen Tres, which managed, in general, in many things done in Mexico there has been a lack of maintenance, not from this government, from different ones. Not only in that place, in other places. That this thing turns out, this happens or the other. And just as this Line 12 issue was solved, it was even sharper, more stringently, because the Mexico City Regulation, after the 2017 earthquake the regulation was stricter. But I think that something that lasts 12 years with 900 M people passing through, and suddenly a problem appears, I don’t see it as a failure of origin.

Christine Murray - OK, last question, family and business successions are difficult around the world. Could you tell us a little about succession in business? 

Eng. Carlos Slim – Of the Group?

Christine Murray - Of the Group, I obviously know that your children have been there for several years, and your grandsons too…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, we look for and we have clear that family is first. Living with the family, the presence with the family, education with the family, and then the business activity. And that relation with the family makes your business work more viable. And as a third aspect, your likes or your hobbies. If you like tennis, or baseball, or football, cars, or marbles, whatever. I don’t know if I’m clear.

That is more less how we do it, we have lunch every Wednesday, we share as cousins, brothers, etc. And the truth is that there is a strong, close relationship, friendly and lovingly among cousins, among family, which is one of the most important things. We see it as fundamental. 

Christine Murray – And the decision making, will be in the family?

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, it depends. Look, many years ago, since my kids were small, I told them, “if you don’t like business, don't even get involved, because it is going to be bad for you and for the business. So, fortunately, my children have entered, my sons in law, my daughters in some other things. And about grandchildren, there are five or six active, if any of them wants to be a philosopher, let him be a philosopher. Bur there has been interest, for example, for engineering, for business, for management, industrial engineering, etcetera. So, there they go.

Christine Murray – Thanks…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, for example, they have escaped, but they were here. All of them have gone, I think they got bored. Only one is left, all other five went away.

Engineer, good evening. Nicolás Lucas from El Economista. I have three questions, all of them about telecommunications, and the last one about water. The first one is within the context of Claro TV, to clarify information of our colleague Luis Pablo. Now that you were requesting modifications to the asymmetry regulation, I’d just like to know, this month are two years since the IFT said they were going to repeat the study to see if the concession is granted to Claro TV. 

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, no, no, no, no, no, there has not been two years. They check it every two years. It is different than conducting the study every two years.

Nicolás Lucas – It was a request, and at that moment they said to you, we’re going to repeat it. Do you know if they are working in a new request assessment, or did you applied for a new request. That would be the first question.

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, look, we are very clear, and obviously the competence comes and presses, and presses, and presses, more, and more, and more. Because what they want is more asymmetry, so not to invest. That’s what they did in the 14. They asked for asymmetry, asymmetry, and the, as we paid 40 cents and they paid 20 to us, with those 20 cents they made their Capex, no? What we want, or what we believe has to be done, by the regulator, which is the rule, for them to authorize us, in fixed telephony, for the consumer benefit, to provide pay TV service. Because that way we are going to be a new competitor, which will provide one more service, and then the client can choose who he will go with. So, it has been too many years of protecting TV companies, and they have been enjoying this situation, TV Azteca and Televisa. They have twenty something years of exclusivity, now it’s time for it to open, so clients can have an alternative.

Nicolás Lucas – Independently from the EBIDTA margin Telcel has to acquire spectrum. Would you be for Altan to rent spectrum it has through Promtel, for Altan to open its spectrum to the competence to reduce to rent its spectrum to third companies?

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, no. About the spectrum, it turns out that it was given to Altán. Altán was an invention in the time of Calderón, there with some conditions, quite weird, because the whole spectrum of 700 MHz for TV was given to it. So, it received a spectrum for free, and I think it pays 1% and we pay 7… it pays a minimum amount. I don’t know if 10% of what the rest of us pay, I’m including ATT and Telefónica. We all pay much less for the spectrum. That is why Telefónica left the spectrum behind. OK, then it an advantage for not paying the spectrum, and the spectrum had no cost for it. That is an Altan’s advantage. However, after a series of stupidities they did, they lost a lot of money, because they invested, did not pay… I don’t know, stupidities… and was absorbed by the state, the government. Now it is a state-owned company. So, you were saying, what…

Nicolás Lucas – As competitors, would you be willing to lease spectrum to Telcel?

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, the spectrum is not leased… 

Nicolás Lucas – No, sorry, to Altan, Altan…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, the situation is that the one who has a network, the one who has network… the spectrum is not leased, it is the network; and the network includes the spectrum. The one who has a network, somewhere, and the other one has not, then the first provides a service for the other to use the network. What’s the name of that? The name? Roaming. So you give roaming to the one not having it. That is, you facilitate your… that is, you don’t facilitate your network; you facilitate network, spectrum, and everything. For him to use the roaming, as it is called, and can serve the client and make his business with the client, where he has not network, using ours. We are already doing that, already.

Nicolás Lucas – Engineer, the last question about telecoms and talking about…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Even more! The best these people from ATT and such, who are requesting special conditions have, is that they can use our roaming and they don’t have to buy spectrum or invest.

Nicolás Lucas – About international businesses, Engineer, in America Móvil we have seen in the last few months, that the company has grown its share in Telecom Austria. Could you tell us if you are exploring there in Eastern Europe besides countries you already are, which are almost 10. That question is on one side… And in South America, could you please, clarify this news about Arsat, if you were interested in entering as private investor within this policy of the Javier Milei’s government. 

Eng. Carlos Slim – Where?

Nicolás Lucas – Arsat, in Agentina.

Eng. Carlos Slim – What’s Arsat?

Nicolás Lucas – The public satellite system of…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, that is not true! No, no, no, it should have been said by I don’t know who! Here, who said it, you or who?

Nicolás Lucas – No, no, no!

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, we have never talked about that!

Nicolás Lucas – But, are you exploring new businesses?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, we have satellite in Brazil because it came in the package, it is the only place.

Nicolás Lucas – In Eastern Europe, I was saying…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Wait, wait…let’s go part by part… Telecom Austria, the government authorized us to have the majority, many years ago, because the government, I think has 28, I don’t remember how much they have. So we had tnat structure and the rest was floating. And, they recently authorized us to get up to 60, I think. So, what we have increased is that we are, I think, in 58, but we are authorized to get a bit higher. This is in Austria.

Nicolás Lucas – In his political campaign in 2018, president López Obrador said that he would give you the TV concession and said that before… And then he took it back. Do you think he took that back?

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, he has not given it to us.

Nicolás Lucas – And then he said that it would be on 2024, but when it is a government…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Ah, he said that on 2024?

Nicolás Lucas – He said that at the latest, when he leaves…

Eng. Carlos Slim – So you better give no opinion, not even write it, he may take it back!

Nicolás Lucas – But, do you trust him?

Eng. Carlos Slim - It's not going to be that I don't give it.

Nicolás Lucas – Thanks!

Eng. Carlos Slim – Oh, there was another question, but not.

Unidentified Journalist – Engineer, Good evening! I don’t know… yes! Good evening, Engineer! First of all, and I stand up so you can see me more easily, this is an old costume of old journalists, to stand up when… 

Eng. Carlos Slim – Oh, we can talk about last Tuesday, face to face!

Unidentified Journalist – Engineer, yesterday the Super Bowl was played, and the media exposure was as I had never seen in the history of this country. 

Unidentified Journalist – And, specifically, what can be done to for baseball to have a media exposure as the one the Super Bowl had yesterday? 

Eng. Carlos Slim – In Mexico?

Unidentified Journalist – Sorry?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, I think it is going to have it, not as large as the Super Bowl, but for everyone to see it, the Yankees are coming on March, and we’ll play two games against the Mexico, so, hopefully you see it. I hope we could disseminate via cellular, talk with…ok!

Unidentified Journalist – Another sports question, Don Carlos. This year, we have the Olympics in Paris, and you own the rights…

Eng. Carlos Slim – The rights of…

Unidentified Journalist – How much are you going to invest, for the transmissions, for example, and who are you negotiating with which media groups, to give access to these Games. And a third questions is if you have other sport investments planned for this year.

Eng. Carlos Slim – So, about the Olympics, these were purchased from the International Olympic Committee eight years ago. We have the rights, but not for open TV, we have the digital rights which are very good because TV companies have to do it per channel, no? So, they do it on their channel they believe is most important. We can broadcast practically all events, simultaneously. All or almost all.

Arturo Elías Ayub – At a given moment, we are going to broadcast, at a given moment, 32 sports.

Eng. Carlos Slim – 32 sports at the same time, as each one corresponds to a – I don’t know if it is a channel or what… So, about that, we did it very well in Brazil, and there we get the facility for the International Olympic Committee, as it was renovated there. The other one, did you renovate it? The next one?

Arturo Elías Ayub – Tokyo, we did renovate it, and now Paris, and there it comes a new bid, let say.

Eng. Carlos Slim – So, we are in those conditions. As related to the sports part, to enthusiasm athletes and the Central American Games, we offered a bonus to all athletes wining gold, silver and bronze medals. We started before by supporting, they had no support, particularly girls of the artistic swimming team. They had to go to a world competence, they couldn’t get support, and we gave it to them.

There was some discussion with the government, who knows what Gabriela said, who now is on the other side, but her experience cannot be seen, as she suffered these things. Arturo had long talks with her, and she finally said, “no, they will not win medals, and nothing”. And they ended up winning, how many medals? Four golden medals. So, we are supporting all athletes for the Central American Games, also for Pan-American, are they going to be, or have they ended? 

Arturo Elías Ayub – They ended.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, we are looking for – hey, leave him, or we will not finish! So, we are involved in sports. On the other hand, if you can share with him, the Guinness Records – don’t you want to tell him how? We have soccer teams of 2,000 and something players, do you want to explain, Arturo?

Arturo Elías Ayub – We have 18 Guinness Records, 11 in soccer, others in baseball and basketball. As the largest soccer, baseball and basketball tournaments of the world. The engineer was saying, we have 260,000 participants each year. So, the Guinness Record as the largest Soccer Tournament of the world. The same with basketball, the same with the baseball tournament we have.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Is there any other question?

Good, evening, Engineer, asking you… elections in Mexico around the corner… I’m Agustín Olais of the Telemundo Chain. 

Eng. Carlos Slim – Sorry?

I’m Agustín Olais of Telemundo, and I want to ask, elections in Mexico are around the corner. There are two women candidates who evidently top election preferences. Have you had an approach with the candidates? What do you expect from… 

Arturo Elías Ayub – Elections are coming, there are two women candidates on top, if you have had an approach with any of them.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, there are three candidates. I know well the two women candidates, from a long time ago. Claudia since she was Secretary of Environment in the López Obrador government. And Xóchitl, since before she was head of the Miguel Hidalgo municipality, many years ago. I know them both for many years ago.

Agustín Olais – What do you expect from this new government?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, a surprise that for the first time we will be governed by a woman. We hope she do it well. 

Agustín Olais – And the election process?

Eng. Carlos Slim – I think both are very committed, they seem enthusiasts in governing us, which already implies a lot of commitment, courage and desire to do things well.

Agustín Ol – Thanks!

Thanks, engineer, Gabriel Nava from Reporte Índigo. I’d like to ask you about your position as businessman as related to a government that somehow occupy spaces that at the end were considered a property of the public initiative…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Of public investment?

Gabriel Nava – No, public initiative…

Arturo Elías Ayub – Private initiative

Gabriel Nava – Yes, private initiative. I’m asking because, as you said a little while ago, communication means and many times in the public opinion, people think that the government is better the farther it is. But as you have expressed in this conference, some synergies have been achieved…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, away, no… 

Gabriel Nava – What do you think about that?

Eng. Carlos Slim- Well, in Mexico, depending on the government, and in this case, this president has wanted to make the government to be in some sectors, no, such as telecommunications, aviation, a little in the banking sector through Banco del Bienestar, despite we have Bancomext and Nafinsa and Banobras. In which another sector? I don’t know, but the important part is that he has respected the private sector.

I think the private sector is working well because, particularly, if we consider that the first policy of the first five years of the president were taking a lot of care of inflation; a lot of care of public finances, take care of the budget, avoid inflationary pressures with deficit, and aiming to keep taxes and, despite this all, to have a larger tax collection. I think all in that work, businesses and businessmen agree with. I think that, in general, that was healthy. Now, him wanting to compete with other sectors against the private sector, I think that as long as it is in similar conditions, there is no problem. But here he have differences in considering that the private sector is better, more efficient, because it does it professionally 100%, it has no political bias deviating it.

Gabriel Nava – So, in the words of a business man, as long as the states’ legal frameworks are respected, there is no problem, as it was usually thought.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, it is just another competitor. As a matter of fact, we are pleased that Altán and such, and such, and such, despite we don’t think it right for them to have their subsidies and such. It is another competitor, and we are not afraid of competitors or competence. Competence makes you better. It is as if you were a good athlete and run very fast. But only run with people of the corner, there is no gain. You have to look for world references, or national as a minimum. So, if there is another company that does have resources, who wants to play and, specifically, it is planning to fill the void of people having no connectivity. It is a pity that it is not doing it as it was planned at the beginning, but I think that if someone is afraid of competition, better stay out of business.

Gabriel Nava – Thank you very much.

Good evening. Christopher Calderón from El Financiero. I would like to ask what are you doing, or what would you ask as related to security, considering that last year, in Michoacán, the Telmex network was destroyed, because they didn’t want to pay extorsions to operate. How are your businesses being impacted by the organized crime, by delinquency, and I’d like to know what would you ask from these candidates?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, I think that is a pending subject, it is a pending subject that we all are waiting to be solved. Let’s see the example of what is being done in Acapulco, where I don’t know how many military bases are being installed, I think 38 quarters with strong presence of the National Guard. But this is a problem that is growing generalized, because we are seeing some places where conditions are harsher and there has been defined, strong actions, I would say even aggressive from the authority. I think there has been a strong social support. El Salvador, Ecuador.

Cristóbal Calderón – As a company, have needed to invest more in security to avoid being target of these criminals?

Eng. Carlos Slim – There has been a huge historical investment to preserve. Because for many years, copper stealing was our daily bread. I even remember that, somewhere, we made an agreement to better give them the copper, so they would not take it from the installations. And vehicles filled with scrap, steel and copper came for ships. From Chinese ships bringing good, they took scrap and stuff. There was an intense market for stolen copper. So, we have always have had that position to be careful, because it is not only about copper to be stolen, but leaving clients disconnected.

Christopher Calderón – And finally, to ask if you have the approximate figure of how much are you planning to invest in Telmex and América Móvil this year, to expand infrastructure and services.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, I don’t have the figure, but las year, US$1,300 M, or US$1,400 M dollars, will be reduced because, as we were saying, 3’800,000 lines were built. Then, our network is already too big, and as we have built a lot, the migration has not been completed. I’m I clear? We have fiber network, and we have clients still having copper. So, we are focusing more in making the client migration from copper to fiber, than saturate. I think we are around 900,000 or more clients in copper that we should migrate. Therefore, we are emphasizing more migration, on the one hand, and we have an optic fiber network enough. In such a way that, if a client request us the service, and the service area is saturated, the contractor has the instruction to build ten, I don’t remember how many, 10 new lines to reduce saturation in that place. So, this year, it will be a lot of migration from copper to fiber, and lot of promotion to sell fiber. Thus, we are going to focus a lot on taking copper clients to fiber, and sell fiber in the market. Trying to recover clients we have lost, that is why our low market share. So, we are going to focus more on the execution, for Telmex. Telcel will continue with its investments. I think… are you tired?

Engineer, good evening. Rubén Fieytal from Canal 11. Engineer in this climate of polarization in which the city, the country is living, do you think there is any risk in the next elections? And, do you think political players will respect the result, whoever may win? If such result is not respected, what would be the risk for the country? Thanks!

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, I think we’ve had more difficult times, but what I can say is that since 1934, with Cárdenas, elections and government changes have been pacific. Since 1934, with Cárdenas, followed by Ávila Camach, and then such, and such, and such, and the last one is López Obrador’s. It is impressive, it has been almost 90 years of pacific changes. I don’t see that in the election, whoever may win, could be a confrontation or a sensitive problem as related to not recognizing the triumph. In that matter, I’m not concerned. Then, where I think we have exaggerated, we have exaggerated a bit, is in the media confrontation of the morning conferences. The reactions, etcetera.

However, what is exemplary, is seen the population, those who are with a party or another, or those who are with a party or another, there is social peace, there is no confrontation. I think that the only negative thing in circulation is the security issue. But beyond that, I think the population’s attitude, in general, is very positive. Independently if they are in one party or another; that there is discomfort or not, except this concern, I think everything else is good and will continue being good. Did you ask something else?

Rubén Fieytal – If there is any risk of the results not being accepted by political players? And finally, the role played by organized crime and narcotraffic.

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, I think there is no confrontation, and what this is playing, go and get informed in the 11, because I have no idea of that is… I know there are security problems in some places, and in some others. And the disgrace is that, suddenly, that is concerning, there have been crimes where they kill some majors, or kidnapped I don’t know what. I think that is very sad and reprehensible. It is a pity, a pity that we have not overcome that part. The existence of that is something negative and very sad.

Hello, good evening, I’m Valentina from Reuters. And I’d like to ask you, because a moment ago you said you’d like to invest in the parent company of Talos in the US.

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, I wouldn’t like it, we are doing it already…

Valentina from Reuters – No, but have you already made that investment? Or would it be the first you’ve done, or which is that based on…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, we have made it, there is a good relation with them, and one thing or another will depend on the next circumstances. But we have an investment with them, there is a very good relation with them.

Valentina from Reuters – With the headquarters, in the US, you mean.

Eng. Carlos Slim – With the headquarters and with the one, down here.

Valentina from Reuters – OK, and at which level would you like to take that participation with the one in the US?

Eng. Carlos Slim – It is not at what level we want to take it; it is more what we do together, no? It is more important. I mean is a bit of investment and a lot of joint work; development of the Group’s oil activity. And we are not getting into to make 10% of Zama, or keep what we have. We are struggling to go beyond and have a relevant activity, and eventually, enter into petrochemistry… for example.

Valentina from Reuters – And today, what is your participation in the US parent company?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Sorry…

Valentina from Reuters – What is your participation, today, in the US parent company?

Eng. Carlos Slim – I was saying that we had about 22 and a half of the American, and 49 nine of the one in here. But that one purchased another company and the capital will be increased, etcetera, so there is a probable dilution.

Valentina from Reuters – Thanks!

Thanks, Carlos Tomasini from Abejorro Media. Through all these years the company has, and you have as businessman, you have witnessed technology changes very closely, those in Mexico and around the world. From cellular telephony, car telephones, before, radio taxis and others, where you pioneered. What do you think about technology in the next years. We don’t talk about the internet, and all that, but it is not only the internet connection, but all access to technology, and else. What do you envision that future for Mexico and for the world, based on your 60 – 70 years of experience. Thank you.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, that is why I was insisting in that we should be careful to avoid that the technology gap between Mexico and the rest of the world, the developed world grows wider; but to be a bridge. There the importance for Mexico to be connected, it is very important for Mexico to have that connection, I mean, all Mexican should have that connection. They should learn very fast to use all technology, to adopt it. Artificial Intelligence is around the corner, we should be involved in that. And we should not get asleep, we should be working hard on that. Once I heard that they wanted to build a Silicon Valley and things like that. 

But I think that it is more important, instead of being thinking… that we immediately absorb technology from the world. And by absorbing that technology, we are aware and taking the pace of what is coming. On the other hand, this commercial integration with the US and Canada is propelling us, or forcing us, or positioning us to accelerate that knowledge and that technology assimilation that is going to happen.

In the Group, in this case specifically the case of Telmex and Telcel, some of you may remember that we launched the Digital Villages; we have developed digital libraries. It is a pity, a real pity that the Digital Village in the Zocalo was stopped. The previous government asked us to take to Iztapalapa, and things like that, and we lost that attractive we had. There have been recognitions, also Guinness, a Guinness award, for technology induction. I don’t know what’s the name of that … it was bringing more people to technology.

Arturo Elías Ayub – Digital alphabetization…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No…that’s not the name…there you have it…

Arturo Elías Ayub – He asks for the Diploma…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Anyway, we did, I don’t know if you know, and I recommend you to go, the Biodiversity Pavilion in the Ciudad Universitaria. There, the Biodiversity Pavilion that I recommend you to visit. OK, there is research, studies, museography, guided visits. We give that to the University, but keep a contract for the basement, the part below, where we can do other things. And we have there is an ample space with connectivity at 20 Gigas, like a digital village, as a matter of fact, with a lot of computers for people to browse at will, and 250 tablets for kids who get there, and when it is saturated, they  can sit to eat or have a coffee or whatever. And there is also a free food and nutrition program, for 600 or 700 people a day. But I think it is the dissemination, it is the technology dissemination, the technology absorption. And I think that we cannot be left behind, and we have a good position to achieve it. 

Arturo Elías Ayub – Digital Inclusion, is the name.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Right, Digital Inclusion! Do you remember?

Arturo Elías Ayub – I had alphabetization, but it is inclusion.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Digital Inclusion! Go and visit the Pavilion, it is very good, and there is going to be an exhibition of meteorites; of meteorite pieces. Do you know the Palace of Mining? All of you? Downtown Mexico City… Have you seen those meteorites there! OK…

Carlos Tomás: it wasn´t a good business to Inbursa to buy Banamex?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, Inbursa is doing very well. The truth is Inbursa is doing very well. Inbursa has a very efficient structure. In results we are the same as they are or more… Results, I don’t know about results. What were the earnings of Banamex? 

Eng. Carlos Slim – That is, Inbursa has better results, I think it was 30,800, 30,950, which is more that the earnings of Banamex, such and such. Then they have around 40 thousand and something people, they have over 30,000 retired employees, we have the Telmex experience…

Carlos Tomás – Was not a good business for Inbursa to acquire Banamex?

Eng. Carlos Slim – I think it is not, because it would become … it would break its structure, and its shape, and its philosophy, and its mindset and behave. I think that as bank size, leaving BBVA aside, well, and also Banorte is well above open banking and such, and such. But in results, we are not very far from them, and with a structure which is one third of theirs. What’s the headcount, for example, of Santander? And how much Santander made? Less than Inbursa? And what are its expenses? We have… how much…8,700 versus 40, what do we want so much expenditure? Look, I think this year it is going to grow a lot, no, I don’t think it is privileged information, because it has been announced; the acquisition of 80% of a banking portfolio, an automobile portfolio, which has a portfolio of 53,000. So, what do you want more for? You go over there.

Carlos Tomás – What changes could you foresee in the financial system with the selling of Banamex? 

Eng. Carlos Slim – How what?

Carlos Tomás – What changes could you foresee in the financial system with what will happen to Banamex, the OPI, etc.? 

Eng. Carlos Slim – What will change?

Carlos Tomás– Will the financial system change a lot, once Banamex is sold?

Eng. Carlos Slim – For the blame of Banamex? No, what is the relation? Banamex is just another bank. It is just another bank, with high expenses and I think it needs to get into the competition. It was a leader, it was a leader when – being state-owned, Fernando Solana, turned it into a leader of everything. He was a leader, the leading bank. We better ask Tony… Do you think something will happen? 

Marco Antonio Slim – Nothing.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Besides, it is not for sale anymore, it is in operation. No, what I think may bring changes, is modern, digital banking. Because we will soon be paying with the telephone. I don’t know of any other attraction; what perspectives…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, no, but the new digital banking… Now, what we have in Inbursa is a solid bank, with a branch offices network adequate but relatively small, with significant flexibility to change. We have an operation in Venezuela, in Brazil which is very important and can from one day to another - accelerate the operation significantly. How many people is there?

Eng. Carlos Slim – That is, 200,000 clients without branch offices and 32 people. There you go with digitalization. 

Engineer, Fernanda Murillo from Milenio. With this wave of new banks, neobanks and banking digitalization, which is the pathway of Inbursa? Are you going to adapt to these new trends, or you will keep it in the traditional system?

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, give the other to Tony, to my son. Did you hear?

Marco Antonio Slim – Yes! What we are doing instead of creating a separated digital entity, is transform Inbursa into the digital bank, which is where you have to go. Make a fully digital bank for the client. His branch office is not the physical office, it carries it with him on his hand, in the cell phone. Today, in Inbursa, over 80% of transactions made by the clients are digital, and that continues growing.

Eng. Carlos Slim – I forgot to tell you just one thing. What I gave to you was just a piece of paper with offers which each one of us made. It is to make clear that we made the highest offers. Besides, it was irrational that, being the ones who offered the highest, and being in the middle Kissinger, who supported the others, Telefónica and such, and such, and Goldman Sachs and everything, would have been a preferential thing towards us. 

And I’m telling this because in a book written by the Harvard people, and the MIT people, they wrote that it was thanks to me that they had given it to us, but we lost. And the one who sent an email telling a bunch of lies, was the boy of the paper who made the smallest offer, that is why I gave it to him, Gentor or I don’t know what, who is a boy, Garza Calderón, I think. Is he Garza Calderón? 

Anyway, he had entered before believing that we wanted to buy the operation in Cuba. So, they acquired the operation in Cuba, supported by Bancomext from Mexico, a series of irregularities, in general. And then, he said to these men that he had won but they gave it to us. That is why I just want you to check the paper carefully…So, well, that’s it, that’s it.

Now, what I was telling you about that Telmex is losing, is losing money, but it has the pensions fund that is not … that is, what is causing it to lose is that it pays pensions with its capital, with its operation, and it is not paying that with the part of the pensions fund. I don’t know if that’s clear.

That is, I was saying that the pensions fund is worth 160 or 170, so what we are doing is taking care of the pensions fund, and retirements are not fully paid by the pensions fund. They are being paid by Telmex, and that’s where this situation comes from. Anyway, as I was saying, Telmex has those subsidiaries, and that makes it so strong. But not only that, it depends on América Móvil and that also makes it strong. Telmex is a subsidiary of América Móvil, and obviously, América Móvil is also supporting it financially. It has just made a capital increase, which strongly consolidated its financial position. And the interesting part is that it has a very small debt. I don’t know if there is any…

Unidentified journalist – Hello, good evening, I may be one of the last, to close this event. Sir, I’d like to know about sports, what is coming from FIFA, are we going to be a part of the World Cup; and this part of finances. It has been said that the Azteca Stadium will get listed in the Mexican Stock Exchange. I’d like to know your opinion about these situations. That on the one hand, and for the other, actually, after president López Obrador leaves the presidency, will you say what you liked or not…

Eng. Carlos Slim – No, I will talk with him about history. He knows a lot about history. 

Unidentified journalist – Yes, of course, but will you make public which things are the ones you really are in disagreement with him.

Eng. Carlos Slim – In the talk with him? No, we’re going to talk about Porfirio Díaz, which other topics do we have? We have about three, three or four topics that we are waiting for him to finish and talk about them openly.

Unidentified journalist – And finally, I’d really like to know, about this part of insecurity, which is one of the things that is hitting, hurting our country. Do you have any information about other investors, mainly international, and with the nearshoring issue, if they are seeing investing in Mexico as something real, particularly in the South east

Eng. Carlos Slim – Look, I have no information, but the stupid who won’t invest in Mexico, will lose his market. So, the one having an operation in Mexico or any other place in the world, and has a market share, and decides to slow down his investment, for any reason you’d like, will lose market share. Then, they are whining like ATT and Telefónica.

Unidentified journalist – I am asking this because there has been a boom in this part of the South Southeast of the country. But, apparently there is not a lot of movement, and everybody is still going to the Center and North…which is where…

Eng. Carlos Slim – But we are talking about investment, no?

Unidentified journalist – Yes, yes…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, I think investment will continue.

Unidentified journalist – And the part of…

Eng. Carlos Slim – That is why I pointed out that we should invest more, 28-  30% of the GDP among foreign, public and national private.

Unidentified journalist – And your opinion about the Azteca Stadium, please. Thanks.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Well, I imagine that what they’re going to do is a spin off. A spin off is separating a company from a bigger one. So, I imagine that what they want to do is separate the América team and the stadium…

Arturo Elías Ayub –  And the casinos… casinos, magazines…

Eng. Carlos Slim – And there are some additional things. I think that include casinos, casinos and magazines…What? No, I have nothing to do about it!

Arturo Elías Ayub – We all are Pumas here.

Eng. Carlos Slim – What I could say is that they took too long in doing it. Why wait until now, they could have done it 20 years ago, 10 years. No, I don’t know. They simply are taking it out… for… Sorry? 

Unidentified journalist 2 – Sorry, what strategies are you deploying for example, in the infrastructure topic, operations…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Where?

Unidentified journalist 2 – Which strategies are you considering or deploying for your water consuming business have no shortages, or if you are somehow anticipating…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Do you know about FCC, or not, about FCC…FCC from Spain. OK, FCC is very important in the construction sector. I’ve told you that last year it constructed about US$3,000 M, FCC. FCC also has a water management operation, and other for waste management. OK, in the water management, it also has desalination. That’s why I was telling you about desalination. It also has water treatment.

So, somewhere, where we have to do things, well, we would develop a program, for example, obviously, in the Baja California Peninsula, or in Tijuana, which is in the Peninsula, or in Los Cabos. Do you need water? So, lets desalinize. Then, somewhere else, in the center, there is a lack of water, such and such, let’s treat water and see how it is recycled. So, you recycle it for irrigation, you recycle it for a plant, or something. Then, I believe these should be integrated studies of what has to be done in each place. This company not only does that, it also manages water. They give it water, and it manages water, collects, and does, and comes back, etcetera, etcetera. 

Unidentified journalist 2 – So, right now, you wouldn’t see…

Eng. Carlos Slim – Another important thing I must say about Telmex, is that I was proposing that it has that reduced loss which is absorbed by the same group. But it also has its fixed assets without being revaluated. So, as you may understand, all that investment of US$40,000 M, plus was what there from before, has a great value. Therefore, Telmex still has a great value of fixed assets, at actual value and not after depreciation. 

Unidentified journalist 2 – Thank you.

Eng. Carlos Slim – Ok, is that all? Well, thanks!


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