Carlos Slim

Loading the player...

DEFINITION of 'Carlos Slim'

Carlos Slim is a magnate of the Mexican telecommunications industry. Slim made his early wealth in the stock market and has held controlling interests in many companies over the years, most significantly Telmex and America Movil, which together account for most of the land lines and cell phones in Mexico. He has also held major investments in Apple, the New York Times Company, Saks, Grupo Carso, Inbursa, Ideal, CompUSA and MCI, among others.

BREAKING DOWN 'Carlos Slim'

Slim's wealth is comparable to that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, yet he is relatively unknown outside of Latin America. In 2016, the Forbes annual billionaire list ranked him as the fourth wealthiest man in the world with a net worth of $60.3 billion in April 2016. One year earlier, the same list ranked Slim as the second richest man in the world with a net worth of $77.1 billion.

How Carlos Slim Built His Fortune

In 1965, Slim began setting the stage for what would become Grupo Carso by incorporating the stock brokerage Inversora Bursatil and the real estate company Inmuebles Carso. Through these two corporations, Slim started several subsidiaries and acquired several companies in the construction, soft drink, printing, real estate, tobacco and mining industries. He formed the private conglomerate Grupo Carso in 1980.

During Mexico's economic crisis in the 1980's, Slim made several acquisitions, including 40% of British American Tobacco in 1984 and 50% of Hershey's. In 1990, Grupo Carso went public with an initial public offering (IPO) and won a bid to acquire Telmex jointly with Southwestern Bell and France Telecom. By becoming the major stakeholder of Telmex, the old telephone monopoly in Mexico, Slim was able to amass a large portion of his fortune and acquire stakes in telephone operations in other countries. Through his cellular company America Movil, Slim acquired equity stakes in cellular telephone companies around the world. In 2012, America Movil took over Telmex and turned the latter into a privately-held subsidiary.

As of 2015, America Movil provides services to 286 million wireless subscribers and 81 million landlines throughout several countries, including Austria, Argentina, Ecuador, the Netherlands and the United States.

Why Carlos Slim's Net Worth Has Decreased

The fall from the second spot to the fourth spot in Forbes annual billionaire list can be traced to two main reasons.

First, a combination of bad performance, devaluation of the Mexican peso, and deregulation of the Mexican cellphone industry contributed to America Movil's first quarterly loss in almost 14 years, in the third quarter of 2015. The weak performance of America Movil's operations throughout 2014 and 2015 has affected the price of its U.S.-traded stock. From a peak price of $26.36 on Sept. 5, 2014, the stock has depreciated 40.7% in value as of Apr. 13, 2016.

Second, Slim was affected by the fall in gold prices , which reached a six-year low in December 2015. Slim owns 80% of the mining company Minera Frisco, whose stock price has dropped over 53% between the April 2014 and April 2016 period.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Billionaire

    An individual who has assets or a net worth of at least one billion ...
  2. CAN SLIM

    A system for selecting stocks created by Investor's Business ...
  3. Mexican Stock Exchange (MEX) .MX

    Mexico's only securities market, the Mexican Stock Exchange (in ...
  4. MXN (Mexican Peso)

    The currency abbreviation for the Mexican peso (MXN), the currency ...
  5. Tequila Effect

    Informal name given to the impact of the 1994 Mexican economic ...
  6. Telephone Bond

    Bonds issued by telephone companies, or obligations of issuers ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    How Carlos Slim Built His Fortune

    How did Carlos Slim Helú get to be so wealthy? Here's a look at where the man came from and how he got to where he is.
  2. Managing Wealth

    Carlos Slim Biography

    Carlos Slim is a Mexican investor, captain of many industries and philanthropist. If he isn't the richest man in the world, he’s at least been in the top five since 2007.
  3. Managing Wealth

    Carlos Slim: Introduction

    Carlos Slim is a Mexican investor, captain of many industries and philanthropist. If he isn't the richest man in the world, he’s at least been in the top five since 2007. Slim’s net ...
  4. Managing Wealth

    This Is What Carlos Slim's Portfolio Looks Like (GCARSOA1, PEP)

    Find out how the once-richest man in the world, Carlos Slim, invests his money to ensure that he doesn't lose his billionaire status.
  5. Markets

    Carlos Slim's Wealth At Mexico's Expense?

    Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s $70 billion fortune is a combination of his total holdings in various companies plus his real assets.
  6. Managing Wealth

    Carlos Slim: Success Story

    Carlos Slim graduated with a degree in civil engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1961. He soon took a job as a stock trader in Mexico City, where his experience as ...
  7. Managing Wealth

    Where Does Carlos Slim Keep His Money?

    What do you do with your money when you're one of the world's wealthiest individuals? If you're Carlos Slim, you give a lot away.
  8. Managing Wealth

    Carlos Slim: Net Worth

    Carlos Slim possessed a net worth of roughly $73 billion as of 2015, according to Forbes. That valuation made him the second-richest man in the world, behind only Microsoft founder Bill Gates. ...
  9. Managing Wealth

    Carlos Slim: Famous or Infamous

    There is an irony to Carlos Slim being the wealthiest man in the world, living, as he has his entire life, in Mexico. His $73 billion net worth, as of 2015, stands out in astounding contrast ...
  10. Managing Wealth

    Carlos Slim: Most Influential Quotes

    “Competition makes you better, always, always makes you better, even if the competitor wins.” – Carlos Slim
RELATED FAQS
  1. How did Carlos Slim start America Movil?

    Dig deeper into the origin and history of America Movil, one of the largest corporations in the world and the dominant telecommunications ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are the most common market indicators to follow the Mexican stock market and ...

    Learn the primary stock market indicators for the Mexican stock market and the leading economic indicators analysts use to ... Read Answer >>
  3. What telecommunication companies have the largest exposure to emerging markets?

    Read about some of the major telecommunications players that have exposure to emerging markets in China, India, Russia, Brazil ... Read Answer >>
  4. What are historic cases of companies failing to do their due diligence?

    Learn about the America Online-Time Warner merger. Explore how America Online's stock was not properly valued due to poor ... Read Answer >>
  5. Who does Warren Buffett plan to bequeath his estate to?

    Find out how much Warren Buffett is leaving for his heirs and how he wants the funds invested after his death. Learn about ... Read Answer >>
  6. Why do telecommunication stocks pay above-average dividends?

    Find out why you should gravitate toward telecommunication stocks when seeking high dividends. Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Duration

    A measure of the sensitivity of the price (the value of principal) of a fixed-income investment to a change in interest rates. ...
  2. Dove

    An economic policy advisor who promotes monetary policies that involve the maintenance of low interest rates, believing that ...
  3. Cyclical Stock

    An equity security whose price is affected by ups and downs in the overall economy. Cyclical stocks typically relate to companies ...
  4. Front Running

    The unethical practice of a broker trading an equity based on information from the analyst department before his or her clients ...
  5. After-Hours Trading - AHT

    Trading after regular trading hours on the major exchanges. The increasing popularity of electronic communication networks ...
  6. Omnibus Account

    An account between two futures merchants (brokers). It involves the transaction of individual accounts which are combined ...
Trading Center