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Tycoon Carlos Slim Biggest Dollar Gainer Among Top 10 Billionaires Since February

Dolia Estevez - Forbes
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April 19, 2017

Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim (Reporte Nivel Uno)

Since the Forbes Billionaires 2017 rankings were published, Mexican mogul Carlos Slim Helú has become $7 billion richer, making him the biggest dollar gainer among the top 10 billionaires. His fortune jumped to $61.5 billion, according to Forbes Real Time Billionaire Ranking on Tuesday, up from $54.5 billion on February 17 when stock prices were locked in from the worldwide ranking.

Slim has also retaken the 5th spot in the ranking lost in the 2017 listing when the telecom tycoon fell out of the top five for the first time in years.

The jump in Slim's net worth has much to do with the recovery of the Mexican peso, which drastically depreciated in 2016, dropping from 17 pesos to the U.S. dollar in April to 22 pesos last January.

"The peso gains without a doubt explain a good deal of his [net worth] increase. His assets valued in pesos are worth more in dollars now than a month ago due to the recovery of the exchange rate," Eduardo García, founder and editor-in-chief of Mexico’s online financial publication, Sentido Común, said.

The currency's volatility has been largely attributed to Donald Trump's campaign promises to renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which transformed Mexico into an export powerhouse; deport millions of undocumented Mexicans; and build a border wall. The threats generated a sense of panic among the Mexican government and the nation's business community. The day after the election, the peso plummeted 11%.

...Slim's wealth has also benefited from his continuing push to open new markets outside Mexico. In a recent conference call with investors, directors of America Movil, the biggest wireless telecom and pay TV provider in Latin America, which is controlled by Slim and his children, said the company plans to broaden its leadership in the telecom service sector in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Europe.

Read the rest at Forbes

Related: Mexican Ambassador: Relationship with U.S. Getting ‘a Little’ Better (PJ Media)

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