Mexico's Cemex says strong dollar may delay higher debt rating
MEXICO CITY Nov 5 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Mexico's Cemex, one of the world's largest cement companies, said on Thursday that the strength of the U.S. dollar could postpone the ability of the company to win back an investment grade debt rating.
Cemex, burdened with a heavy debt load from its 2007 acquisition of Australia's Rinker, has been focusing on reducing debt in a bid to regain an investment-grade rating by 2018.
"The question now is what to expect with respect to the strength of the dollar. If it stays like this, then getting our investment grade will be displaced for one or two years more," CEO Fernando Gonzalez told reporters at an event in Mexico City.
Cemex operates in 50 countries and much of its income is in currencies that have sank against the dollar this year, cutting into revenue that is reported in the U.S. currency.
Gonzalez also said that the company was interested in entering the Cuban market. Cemex is the biggest cement supplier in the Caribbean. (Reporting by Noe Torres in MEXICO CITY and Gabriela Lopez in MONTERREY)
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