February 23, 2017 / 4:54 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico broadcaster Televisa to slash investment in 2017

(Adds quotes and context)

MEXICO CITY, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Mexico’s Grupo Televisa said on Thursday that it would slash its capital expenditures by more than a third to around $1 billion in 2017 as it prepares for tougher times with a weaker Mexican peso.

The broadcaster and world’s largest Spanish-language content provider said most of the cuts would come in its cable division, which had almost finished a large network upgrade anyway.

Executives said on a conference call with analysts that the company would not sacrifice growth, but the peso’s depreciation meant it was more focused on returns on investment.

In 2016, capex was forecast at around $1.6 billion.

A drop in global oil prices and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has threatened to enact several policies that would hurt Mexico’s economy, has battered the peso.

Televisa shares rose 6.5 percent to 98.6 pesos on Thursday, the day after the company reported fourth-quarter results.

In January, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission cleared Televisa to own up to 40 percent of U.S. broadcaster Univision’s voting stock and up to 49 percent of its common shares.

On Thursday’s call, executives said they were analyzing the conversion of Televisa’s existing Univision warrants, instruments similar to an option, into shares and would make a decision soon.

They also said they had not discussed additional equity purchases with Univision shareholders. (Reporting by Christine Murray; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Lisa Von Ahn)

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