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Playing Hard to Get

Apr 29, 2004

América Móvil waited years to issue its first international bond. When the Mexican cellphone company finally went to the market, plenty of investors wanted a piece of the action.

América Móvil, Latin America's largest wireless telephone company, made a spectacular debut in the international bond market in March, when it issued a $1.3 billion two-tranche bond. This was the largest corporate bond issue ever by a Latin American corporate issuer and the largest ever for a privately owned emerging markets issuer. América Móvil has proved masterfully patient, both as an acquirer of wireless assets in Latin America and as an issuer of debt. Gabriel Bochi, head of Latin American debt capital markets at JP Morgan, says, "It really paid off to be patient. They clearly picked the bottom of the Treasury market in spreads."

Carlos García-Moreno, chief financial officer of América Móvil, says the company waited three years, since  Mexico's fixed line provider, Teléfonos de México (Telmex), spun América Móvil off as...

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