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  • Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim dropped to fifth place on the Forbes list.

    Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim dropped to fifth place on the Forbes list. | Photo: AFP

Published 16 December 2015

Forbes said the Mexican tycoon, once the wealthiest man in the world, was the year’s biggest money loser.

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim was for a while the world's richest man, but after reporting losses of close to US$22 billion this year, he dropped to fifth place with a fortune of slightly over US$55.2 billion.

Slim was on various occasions the world's wealthiest man last year, but beginning 2015 he dropped to second place behind Microsoft owner Bill Gates with a fortune estimated at US$77.1 billion.

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However, “Carlos Slim Helu is, by a wide margin, this year’s biggest billionaire loser,” Forbes writer Dolia Estevez said on Tuesday.

Gates is number one with US$79.1, followed by Spanish retailer mogul Amancio Ortega, who has a fortune estimated at US$75 billion. In third, Warren Buffett is listed with US$62.6 billion. Amazon.com CEO and founder Jeff Bezos is fourth with US$59.3 billion.

According to Forbes, Slim's losses basically come from a poor performance on the New York Stock Exchange and the Mexican Stock Exchange of his giant telecommunications company America Movil.

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The news outlet further explained that the U.S.-traded shares of America Movil—the largest wireless telecom and cable TV provider in Latin America—were affected by steep currencies devaluations against the dollar. The Mexican peso, for instance, has lost about 20 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar in the last four to five months.

In Mexico, his company was affected by harsher antitrust rules aimed at reducing the control of telecom companies.

For the first time ever, America Movil reported losses in the last quarter worth close to US$170 million, according to Estevez, who said Slim's bank Grupo Financiero Inbursa also suffered losses.

“But losses didn’t keep Slim from doing what he knows best this year: buy low and sell high around the world,” Estevez added.

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