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Mexico says in talks with China to form infrastructure fund

Rodrigo Campos
Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 | 7:48 PM ET

NEW YORK, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Mexico and China are discussing creating a joint fund for investments in infrastructure projects in Latin America's No.2 economy, Mexican deputy finance minister Fernando Aportela said on Tuesday during a visit to New York.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto last year announced his government expected to see more than $300 billion in public and private spending on infrastructure in Mexico between 2013 and 2018, around a third of it in telecoms and transport.

The forecast spending was aimed at complementing a wider economic reform drive spanning energy to telecoms that Pena Nieto pushed through Congress last year and which is aimed at boosting long-lagging economic growth.

Mexican newspaper Excelsior said on Tuesday Mexico and China were negotiating creating a $2.5 billion fund for infrastructure spending, but gave no sourcing.

Aportela told Reuters the size of the fund was still being negotiated.

Beyond investments by state-run energy and water companies, Pena Nieto's infrastructure drive unveiled in July included putting two new satellites into orbit, tendering two new national television networks and building 15 new highways.

A broad range of Mexican companies will likely benefit.

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's conglomerate Grupo Carso , miner Grupo Mexico, cement giant Cemex, chemical producer Mexichem and airport operators Gap, OMA and Asur are all potential winners.