Loral Space & Communications Ltd. agreed to pay $692 million for a 75% stake in Mexico's state-owned satellite company, Satelites Mexicanos, in a bid to become a dominant provider of telecommunications services in Latin America. The New York-based company, which submitted the only bid, hopes to use Satmex's three satellites, whose signals cover Mexico, Central America and parts of North and South America, to boost its presence in the region. Satellite services, including television, radio, telephone and data transmission, are expected to boom in Latin America as its population demands better communications services. Mexico's Communications and Transport Ministry is expected to take five working days to study Loral's proposal before officially declaring it the winner of the contract. The government will keep the remaining 25%, which it plans to sell on the Mexican stock market before 2002. Loral shares rose 81 cents to close at $22.44 on the New York Stock Exchange.