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Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Mexican magnate becomes world's second richest man
Apr 11 07:16 PM US/Eastern

A Mexican telecoms tycoon has become the second richest man in the world, pushing US investment guru Warren Buffett into third place and breathing down the neck of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Carlos Slim Helu quietly slipped past Buffett at the end of last month thanks to his rising stock, and was valued at the close of trade Wednesday at 53.1 billion dollars, 700 million dollars more than Buffett, reported Wednesday.

Now only Gates, valued as the richest man in the world for the last 13 years, is ahead of Slim.

And while slim may be catching up, Gates, who stepped aside as Microsoft chief in 2000 to devote his energies to the philanthropic foundation he runs with his wife Melinda, is still sitting on a nest egg of 56 billion dollars.

Slim, 67, has added a staggering 23 billion dollars to his personal fortune over the last 14 months, thanks largely to a strong Mexican economy and a stock market that jumped nearly 50 percent last year.

He accrued four billion dollars of that just since Forbes unveiled its annual rich list in early March, giving Slim the equivalent of roughly seven percent of Mexico's annual economic output, according to Forbes.

The tycoon has brushed off criticism that his Telmex company is effectively a monopoly, saying earlier this year: "When you live for others' opinions, you are dead. I don't want to live thinking about how I'll be remembered."

He has derided Gates and Buffett for giving away so much of their wealth, reportedly saying: "Poverty isn't solved with donations," according to Forbes.

Building businesses, he reportedly said, did more for society than "going around like Santa Claus."

Copyright AFP 2005,

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