You probably already know that Carlos Slim is the wealthiest person in Mexico, and by a wide margin. However, you likely don’t know the other four people on this list and how they managed to get there. Some of them made wise business decisions. Others were in the right place in the right time. Currently, four of them are suffering declines in their net worth. Why is this happening? And why is one of these moguls seeing their net worth consistently increase? Let’s find out.
Net Worth: $71.2 billion (was $74 billion in 2012)
Net Worth Mexico Rank: 1
Net Worth Global Rank: 3 (after Bill Gates and Warren Buffet)
Fortune Made: Telecommunications, mining, real estate
Carlos Slim owns America Movil (AMX), which has telecom operations in 18 countries. Not long ago, America Movil had an 80% share of the landline market and a 70% share of the mobile market in Mexico, but new Mexican laws stated that no company can own more than a 50% share of either market. Last year, Slim sold some assets to meet these requirements. Fortunately for Slim, he has exposure to 18 countries. Therefore, it wasn’t a major hit. (For more, see: How Carlos Slim Built His Fortune.)
Despite losing some money over the past few years, it’s a miniscule loss compared to what other Mexican billionaires have suffered over the same time frame.
German Larrea Mota Velasco
Net Worth: $12.8 billion (was $16.7 billion in 2012)
Net Worth Mexico Rank: 2
Net Worth Global Rank: 80
Fortune Made: Mining
German Larrea Mote Velasco owns a majority stake in Grupo México S.A.B. de C.V. (GMEXICOB.MX) — the largest mining and infrastructure company in the country. Unfortunately, when global economic growth is slow, copper prices fall. This has led to lower share prices for Grupo México. At the time of this writing, the stock is down 13% over the past two years. That is far from terrible, but it’s still a negative.
In addition to mining assets, Grupo México owns two railroads and a 30% stake in Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico. Therefore, transports also play a role.
Net Worth: $9.9 billion (was $16.5 billion in 2012)
Net Worth Mexico Rank: 3
Net Worth Global Rank: 122
Fortune Made: Mining
Alberto Baillères owns Peñoles, the second-largest mining company in Mexico. He has seen his fortune fade due to lower metal prices, which relates to slower growth in Mexico. He also owns El Palacio de Hierro, an upscale chain of department stores, as well as a stake in Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V. (FEMSA) (FMX). With slower economic growth, the consumer has become more hesitant to spend, and new taxes on soft drinks haven’t helped, either. (For more, see: FEMSA is a Delicate Balance Between Growth Opportunities and Valuation.)
Ricardo Salinas Pliego
Net Worth: $7.8 billion (was $9.9 billion in 2012)
Net Worth Mexico Rank: 4
Net Worth Global Rank: 162
Fortune Made: Retail, media
Ricardo Salinas Pliego owns Grupo Salinas and Grupo Elektra, with holdings in television, telecommunications, retail and banking. Lately, reluctant Mexican consumers have meant lower sales and fewer loans. These are the biggest reasons for the recent decline in Ricardo Salinas Pliego’s net worth.
Eva Gonda de Rivera
Net Worth: $6.8 billion (was $6.5 billion in 2012)
Net Worth Mexico Rank: 5
Net Worth Global Rank: 195
Fortune Made: Inherited FEMSA stake
When Eugenio Garza Lagüera passed away, he left a 27% FEMSA stake to his wife and four daughters. One of those daughters is also married to the ceo of FEMSA.
FEMSA’s Coca-Cola bottling division has been expanding its growth across Latin America via acquisitions. FEMSA’s Oxxo convenience stores have also expanded; there are now more than 11,000 locations across Latin America.
The Bottom Line
While some of the above billionaires are seeing declines in their net worth, none of them need to worry too much. It will be interesting to see if Eva Gonda de Rivera can continue to increase her net worth and climb to the #4 spot, or perhaps even the #3 spot, on this list. However, one thing is for sure: Nobody is catching Carlos Slim. (For more, see: Where Does Carlos Slim Keep His Money?)