CNBC EXCLUSIVE: CNBC TRANSCRIPT: CNBC'S MICHELLE CARUSO-CABRERA SITS DOWN WITH CARLOS SLIM, THE WORLD'S WEALTHIEST MAN, TODAY ON CNBC
WHEN: TODAY, THURSDAY, JANUARY 20TH
WHERE: CNBC'S BUSINESS DAY PROGRAMMING
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Carlos Slim, the world's wealthiest man, today on CNBC. Excerpts of the interview will run throughout CNBC's Business Day programming beginning on "Squawk Box." All references must be sourced to CNBC.
SLIM ON AMERICA MOVIL AND THE MOBILE MARKET
Carlos Slim: Now you know our target is broadband. That is so important in our countries to have broadband access, universal access. We are thinking that for 2015 we will have big penetration, a universal access, and a lot of places with wifi and a lot of places with public, with digital libraries. Instead of lending a book, well lend a laptop. And in the future maybe a tablet.
Caruso-Cabrera: You mentioned 2015. Give me the actual metric that you are thinking. So right now broadband penetration stands at X, and by 2015 where?
Slim: Well, we want to make that everyone can have access to that and to find a penetration of 60 to 70 percent of households.
SLIM ON MEXICAN DRUG WARS AND THE ECONOMY
Slim: The problem that we are living is very very, is complex. But we are doing something for you. The drugs and the money stay in the US. And the violence and the arms in Mexico. That's not fair.
Caruso-Cabrera: We hear from many many executives now in the United States that are worried about investing in Mexico because they've read about the drug war. 30,000 deaths in the last three years. Is it hurting Mexico? What do you recommend be done about it?
Slim: Well, I think that groups, the companies that don't invest, will stay back.
Caruso-Cabrera: In Mexico? If they don't invest in Mexico, they are going to lose?
Slim: They will stay back. They will lose. If they are already here, they will lose market share. If they are not here they will lose a very big market. We are 110- 112 million people, and growing the economy and as much as people get out of poverty, it will get inside the market, it will make a stronger economy. I think they will lose, the ones that national or foreigners. They don't invest, they will lose the opportunity and the market and the market share etc.
SLIM ON NY REAL ESTATE
Slim: We are investing. Just investing. It is not a mansion, it is a building. It is difficult to think of a mansion of 8 floors or 9 floors. Its not a mansion, its a building. We are looking to make some apartments there.
Caruso-Cabrera: And commercial on the bottom floor I assume?
Slim: I don't know yet. Maybe a restaurant or something. The project is not finished.
Caruso-Cabrera: But the fact that you are buying now as opposed to a few years ago, does that mean, should we read into that, you think real estate has bottomed?
Slim: No I don't know. I think to buy now is better than three years ago don't you think so?
Caruso-Cabrera: But you could wait, the question is do you buy now or two years from now.?
Slim: No, you make investments when you find the things that are interesting, no?
Caruso-Cabrera: Do you know how much you paid per square foot on that house?
Slim: I will not tell you more information.
Caruso-Cabrera: No? But Id really like to know, that would be
Slim: There is a lot of real estate that is interesting I think, worldwide. When you have interest rates so low, assets go up so there is better value.
Caruso-Cabrera: Are there other cities in the United States where you are looking as well?
Slim: Not especially. Mainly New York. But in general you can think that some buildings that are selling today in New York are a lot lower than has been two or three years before, despite the so-low interest rates today, in comparison with a few years ago, two years ago.
Caruso-Cabrera: So you are planning, that house, that building, is not for you to move to?
Slim: For a house there?? With eight floors? No? Actually for me, travelling, its better in a hotel.
SLIM ON CHARITY
Slim: But why half? Why half? First of all what we need to do as businessmen, is to help to solve the problems, the social problems. To fight poverty, but not by charity. Lets say how much they will collect? Lets suppose they collect $300 billion immediately. They make them tax deductible, so the government will have less money because of that. To put this cash they need to sell their companies. I think it will be a big mistake that companies like Microsoft, Apple, the leaders of the world in technology be sold by the founders to put the cash to fund charities, to fund charity. They shouldn't. It is more important that they continue manage the companies. Lets go to the other point. $300 billion, tax deductible. That means a bigger fiscal deficit to the government.
Caruso-Cabrera: Yes absolutely.
Slim: Then they will give 5% a year, that is $15 billion. What's $15 billion to solve problems? Nothing. What will be more important is that all of his geniality (genius) and the knowledge to manage this business, to put them to solve the problems.
Caruso-Cabrera: Create jobs.
Slim: Create jobs. And also for health, for education. But we have told Bill and all the other people worldwide and we make it publicly, is that for every dollar that they put in Mexico, we put another dollar, in programs that we both agree to do. We are already doing some programs. It will be very important to support that.
And the focus we have is different. We don't say we will put half of that. For me to put, I should sell Telmex, America Movil, the mining. Will it be good for the country that I sell that-- is the first question? To whom will I sell that? Foreigners. Here there is nobody that will pay. First is it good to sell that? Second, if I give that, everything, 100 percent, not 50 percent, what will be that? $500 per person. Will that solve everything?
SLIM ON NY TIMES
Slim: We are very happy with the investment. And it was a financial investment. We made a convertible bond, a bond with warrants. We are very happy with the formula. We are not asking them how the business is going. We are looking from the outside. What they are going to do? What are their plans? We are not asking about that. We know that they are doing a good job. The business is news not paper. And that means it will be news, electronic and other means and other ways.As much as the revenues in the paper fall down, they need to go up here.
Caruso-Cabrera: Digitally you think?
Slim: Yes electronic.
Caruso-Cabrera: So you move your hand down for the physical paper but up for the digital paper.
Slim: I think it can be charged in many ways. One of the ways that can be interesting is by advertising in the electronic.
Caruso-Cabrera: You are one of the few people in the world who has the financial wherewithal to if you wanted to, force the hand of the salzburgers, because they control the paper with their super voting shares. You have no interest in doing to the NY Times what Rupert Murdoch did to Dow Jones?
Slim: No. We have 45 years in business. And we until now, that I remember, we have never made a hostile. We will not make something in something that is not our business. And something that we think is doing very well, we will not do better than anyone that is working there. Still today, when you see news around the world you look at the reference: NY Times.
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