Infrastructure investment: Ideal boost to Mexico’s needs
Investors seem to like Mexico’s new investment fund, Impulsora del Desarrollo Económico de America Latina (Ideal), owned by the country’s richest man, Carlos Slim.
|Carlos Slim: complementing public investment
Spun off from Slim’s financial conglomerate Inbursa in June, shares in Ideal have risen 40% since its IPO in September and the fund has posted a $43 million net profit in its first four months. With almost $900 million in assets, Ideal now has four toll road concessions, the latest of which Slim bought at the end of September in northern Mexico, and sees returns of at least 10%, according to Ideal’s credit director, Frank Aguado. Aside from the strong numbers, the fund is the first in Mexico seeking to make money from infrastructure projects, including roads, ports, water plants and power generation, as well as public-private partnerships in education and health, all areas in desperate need of investment after years of government neglect. Given Slim’s business savvy, Ideal hopes it could become a model for public-private projects. “We must complement public investment, which is limited and restricted, with private investment to drive economic growth,” said Slim, who is chairman of Ideal, in a recent speech.
Slim appears to have got his timing right. At 4.8%, growth in the construction industry in Mexico is expected to outstrip the country’s total economic growth this year.