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UPDATE 1-America Movil forecasts $8 billion capex for 2021

(Adds company comments, details on plans for towers spinoff and 5G)

MEXICO CITY, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Mexican telecoms company America Movil expects to spend $8 billion in capital expenditures in 2021, company executives said on Wednesday.

The planned investment will include the purchase of 5G frequencies, Chief Financial Officer Carlos Garcia Moreno told analysts on a conference call following the company’s fourth-quarter earnings.

“For this year, we are around $8 billion, including what we are going to buy on frequencies for 5G,” Garcia Moreno said.

Officials from America Movil, controlled by the family of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, said there could be 5G options available in Mexico, its core market, before the end of the year after an additional purchase of 50 megahertz (MHz) in 2020.

“We are in the process of reviewing the rules for those frequencies ... What Daniel is telling me is that from October 2021, there are going to be options on 5G in Mexico,” Garcia Moreno said, referring to Chief Executive Officer Daniel Hajj.

America Movil’s shares rose more than 3% early on Wednesday after the company on Tuesday reported a surprise quarterly profit, which was nearly 80% higher than a year ago, helped by a favorable exchange rate. The shares later trimmed gains. The company’s sales dipped 3.1% from the same quarter a year ago.

Executives also said that 35,000 to 37,000 telecommunications towers in its Latin American and Caribbean markets would be included in a spinoff entity it announced a day earlier.

The new unit will focus on the development, construction and locations of the towers for mobile services, the company said. (Reporting by Cassandra Garrison and Abraham Gonzalez in Mexico City Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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