(Adds quote from Grupo Mexico CFO)
MEXICO CITY, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Mexican mining, transport and infrastructure company Grupo Mexico is aiming for an initial public offering of its railroad unit in the first half of this year, a senior company executive said on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Grupo Mexico said it was considering a public offering for about 15 percent of its rail unit. The unit has benefited from Mexico's booming auto sector, shuttling an increasing number of Mexican-built cars north to the United States.
Mexico's bourse said on Wednesday it had received a request from ITM, Grupo Mexico's rail unit, for a mixed share offering on the exchange.
Grupo Mexico Chief Financial Officer Daniel Muniz told analysts on a Thursday conference call that the IPO would definitely take place.
"Timing depends a little bit on the market, really, but we can do it in the first half of the year," Muniz said. "That is when we are targeting."
According to an analyst note, Grupo Mexico could expect to make $660 million by listing 15 percent of its rail unit.
The company's shares were up 2.22 percent at 44.58 Mexican pesos ($3) after the conference call.
$1 = 14.7337 Mexican pesos Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn