Shares of Mexico’s Cemex jump on debt swap

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Shares of Mexico’s Cemex jumped on Wednesday on optimism that the world’s No. 3 cement maker would successfully swap around $420 million in debt due in the coming months for new paper with longer maturities.

The company’s shares CMXCPO.MX gained 7.14 percent to 14.55 pesos, a two-month high. On the New York Stock Exchange, its shares CX.N climbed 6 percent to $10.51.

Monterrey-based Cemex is expected to issue on Wednesday the results of its offer to exchange 5.7 billion pesos in commercial paper due within the next four months with debt due in September 2011.

Cemex’s stock was driven to its lowest in more than 9 years last month on worries it would have trouble making payments on $6.6 billion in debt due next year.

“There is a lot of optimism that they will be able to negotiate better maturities,” said Carlos Ponce, head of analysis at Ixe brokerage in Mexico City.

Cemex shares also got a boost this week on news that U.S. President-elect Barack Obama plans to launch a major investments in infrastructure in the United States, one of the firm’s top markets.

“People are very excited that Obama could save the demand for cement in the United States,” said Carlos Hermosillo, an analyst at Vector brokerage in Mexico City.

Cemex is the top U.S. cement supplier and the company has been hit by the sharp downturn in the U.S. housing market.

Reporting by Gabriela Lopez in Monterrey and Michael O’Boyle; editing by Richard Chang

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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