Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim’s fortune has passed the $100 billion mark for the first time, a dozen years after he was crowned the wealthiest person in the world.
While the 83-year-old magnate has made few major overhauls of his portfolio in recent years, he’s riding the “super peso,” which has seen the Mexican currency surge about 14% against the US dollar this year.
Slim has added about $27 billion to his fortune in 2023 — including $3 billion on Thursday — to increase his lead as the richest Latin American, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Overall, he’s slipped in the global ranking to 11th as technology founders have largely taken over the top spots.
The bulk of Slim’s $101.5 billion fortune comes from telecommunications company America Movil SAB, which collects almost 40% of its revenue in Mexican pesos and also has exposure to the euro from its operations in Austria. Shares of Slim’s Grupo Carso SAB, which does everything from construction to operating restaurants and shops, have soared 109% this year and are the best performing in Mexico’s benchmark index.
Slim’s businesses this year made one of their biggest bets yet on crude production in Mexico by buying in to the mega oil field project Zama. His Spanish construction firm FCC raised €965 million ($1.1 billion) selling a 25% stake in a unit to Canadian pension operator CPPIB and is reported to be looking to acquire a majority stake in real estate firm Metrovacesa. In November, America Movil boosted its majority stake in Telekom Austria AG to 58%.
Arturo Elias Ayub, Slim’s spokesman and son-in-law, declined to comment.
Even after transferring some stakes in his companies to his six children, Slim remains active on a day-to-day basis and retains the majority of decision-making responsibilities, according to people familiar with his schedule.
Slim still gathers his extended family for a weekly dinner at his Mexico City house. His sons, who were placed in key roles in the group of companies, keep a low profile and haven’t branched out to make their own investments, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private matters.
Now, the third generation is rising in the ranks and have begun to take board and executive seats.
Granddaughter Vanessa Hajj Slim sits on the board of America Movil and Grupo Carso. Her brother Rodrigo heads Sanborns Hermanos and another sibling Daniel sits on the board of Minera Frisco SAB along with cousin Diego Slim.
Slim, whose Lebanese parents emigrated to Mexico in 1902, made a career out of making bullish bets on the country at moments of deep crises. He was one of the biggest beneficiaries of a wide-ranging privatization drive in the late 1980s and 1990s, scooping up Telmex and growing it into the behemoth of America Movil, which operates in 22 countries and posted revenue of $42 billion last year.