August 9, 2011

MEXICO: Carlos Slim, 71, world's richest man, loses over $6 billion in stockmarket rout

MELBOURNE, Victoria / The Age / Executive Style / August 7, 2011

Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, lost around $US6.7 billion ($6.63 billion) last week.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Slim’s stock portfolio has fallen 9.5 per cent since July 29 when measured in US dollars, and was valued at $US64.4 billion at the end of the week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 7.2 per cent during that time.

Slim, 71, has taken a hit as Mexico’s benchmark IPC index dropped 6.4 per cent and the peso slid 2.3 per cent against the dollar on concerns that the flagging US economy will hurt demand for assets in its southern neighbour.

The removal of three of Slim’s companies from the IPC index has made matters worse for the billionaire.

Leon Cabrera, a trader at Mexico City-based Vanguardia Casa de Bolsa, told Bloomberg that Slim was ‘‘particularly hurt’’ by the companies that were removed from the IPC.

When Slim’s holding are measured in Mexican pesos, the drop in value was somewhere around 7.3 per cent.

Forbes named Slim the world’s richest man, and put him at the top of its annual World Billionaires’ list, for the second year in a row this year. In March, the magazine put Slim’s net worth at $US74 billion, and said it had grown by $US20.5 billion in the previous year, on the strength of the Mexican stock market, a stronger peso, and ‘‘successful mining and real estate spinoffs from conglomerate Grupo Carso.’’

According to Bloomberg, Slim’s fellow billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have fared slightly better during the recent market turmoil.

Gates’s Microsoft. dropped 6.3 per cent last week, while Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway fell 3.9 per cent.

Wall Street experienced its worst week since September 2008 last week, and Reuters reports that global stocks lost $US2.5 trillion in value.


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