Tycoon Carlos Slim plans more investment in Mexico in 2011
Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim said on Monday he plans to boost his investment in Mexico this year by about 20 percent to $3.6 billion, with telecoms, mining and infrastructure taking center stage.
Slim, the world's richest person according to Forbes, will invest 10 billion pesos in America Movil , Latin America's leading cell phone provider, and 10 billion pesos in Telefonos de Mexico, the country's top fixed-line phone company.
Another 10 billion pesos will be invested in Slim's mining company Frisco , and 13 billion pesos more in his infrastructure firm Ideal , the billionaire said. He did not elaborate on Frisco's metal production.
Slim received some 90 reporters and guests at one of his offices in the capital and offered them hors d'oeuvres, paella and chocolate cake served in the trademark blue china from his Sanborns restaurant chain.
He said he was open to new acquisitions of mines or land. We are looking at other places in America, from here south, Slim said.
Frisco produced 199,791 ounces of gold and 5.5 million ounces of silver at its Mexican operations in 2010 and has said it will expand output in 2011.
Frisco will continue searching for more exploration land as it starts operations in five of its existing mines across Mexico during 2011 and 2012, Slim told reporters gathered at a heavily guarded office in one of the wealthiest areas in the capital.
During a four-hour conference in his office, home to a vast collection of works from Van Gogh and Renoir to Mexican painter Diego Rivera, he joked and munched on mini treats while talking about his businesses, art, politics, economy and sports.
Slim, considered the biggest collector of Auguste Rodin outside France and who is almost ready to inaugurate a new art museum in Mexico City, downplayed any interest in deep water exploration through his Swecomex unit, which provides engineering and construction services for oil companies.
We are not considering it. Deep waters are a separate chapter, he said.
Despite his dominance of Mexico's telecom industry, Slim has not been cleared to offer video services in his home country as the government is reluctant to let him expand into another market out of concerns about reducing competition.
Slim, who was joined by his three sons and other key aides during the conference, offers triple play services in other Latin American countries, bundling cable, Internet and phone services in cheap packages.
Telmex offers billing services for direct-to-home satellite company DISH Mexico, which has grown very aggressively since its launch in Mexico two years ago.
Asked whether he would consider buying a stake in DISH, Slim said we are not focused on that, we are waiting (for the authorization) to offer triple play.
(Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz and Veronica Gomez; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
Texas Panhandle Hail Storm"This shows that there are still spots of hail almost 2 feet deep the day after. Over 20 hours after the event started!" the NWS in Amarillo posted on Facebook
Texas Panhandle Hail Storm"Close up of the hailstones, the largest hailstones were still ping-pong ball size even after sitting out overnight and morning!"
Texas Panhandle Hail StormNWS employee holding some of the hail that fell over the area on the night of April 11.
Texas Panhandle Hail StormMore hail along the side of a creek on 287.
The National Weather Service is assessing damage in the Texas Panhandle after a storm dumped some 4 feet of hail on Amarillo Wednesday, stranding motorists for hours.
More than a day later, the NWS's office in Amarillo posted photos on its Facebook page, the largest hail stone that remains is still about the size of a ping pong ball!
In one of the photos a firefighter can be seen standing next to what looks like a small pathway in a field of boulders covered in hail. But Krissy Scotten, a spokeswoman for the NWS's office in Amarillo told MSNBC that there aren't rocks that big in West Texas.
That was 4 feet of ice, Scotten said.
It was actually the rainwater that caused the drifts, she added. Anytime you have hail accumulate 2 to 4 feet high and get over three inches of rain, no matter how it occurs, it's pretty incredible.
She said the dark color of the compacted ice is a result of the dust around the area because of the drought. Scotten also said that the last time such a hailstorm happened was in 1993 in Dalhart, Texas.
The Texas Department of Transportation reported that Highway 287, between Amarillo and Dumas, has since been opened. MyHighPlains.com has also reported that law enforcement officials are still directing traffic north and southbound in that area because of the hail and the rain.
The highway was shut down both ways and visibility was said to be low at the time because of the rain.
Watch a video of the storm below:
Start the slideshow to see more photos.