Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, lost about $8 billion this week.
The Mexican billionaire’s stock portfolio, measured in U.S. dollars, has dropped about 11 percent since July 29, before today, and is valued at about $63 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with a 7.1 percent slide in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
Slim, 71, has taken a hit as Mexico’s benchmark IPC index dropped 7.4 percent and the peso slid 2.5 percent against the dollar on concerns that the flagging U.S. economy will hurt demand for assets in its southern neighbor. The removal of three of Slim’s companies from the IPC index has made matters worse for the billionaire.
“He’s been particularly hurt by those companies leaving the IPC,” said Leon Cabrera, a trader at Mexico City-based Vanguardia Casa de Bolsa. “It reflects the nervousness out there. It’s part of being in the market.”
America Movil SAB, the biggest wireless carrier in the Americas and Slim’s largest asset, has declined a relatively benign 6.9 percent this week. Its Telefonos de Mexico SAB unit has been Slim’s only gainer in Mexico, rising 11 percent on the parent company’s offer to buy out minority shareholders.
The Standard & Poor’s index extended its decline today, falling 0.5 percent at 9:58 a.m. New York time. The IPC fell 0.5 percent, and America Movil slid 0.9 percent.
The drop in America Movil, which has fallen 21 percent this year as regulators seek to put a dent in its 70 percent share of Mexico’s mobile-phone market, is an opportunity for investors to buy stock in a solid company, Cabrera said yesterday in a telephone interview.
Even measured in Mexican pesos, Slim’s holdings have dropped 9 percent this week, a bigger decline than the broader Mexican market. Bolsa Mexicana de Valores SAB, the Mexican stock exchange operator, said Aug. 2 that it would drop Slim’s Grupo Financiero Inbursa SAB, Inmuebles Carso SAB and Grupo Carso SAB from the IPC index as part of an annual rebalancing.
Inbursa, Slim’s financial-services firm, slid 8.7 percent this week, while Inmuebles Carso, a real estate firm, declined 11 percent, and Grupo Carso, a holding company with retail and construction units, fell 18 percent.
Slim was named the world’s richest man for a second year in a row by Forbes magazine in March. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, second and third on the magazine’s list, have had better weeks, at least for their biggest holdings.
Gates’s Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) dropped 5.3 percent this week before today. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) slid 4.3 percent.
Arturo Elias, a spokesman for Slim, declined to comment in an e-mail.
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