Mexico's richest person, Carlos Slim Helu, is by far this year's biggest loser – of money! Between January 1st and December 8th the telecom mogul's fortune fell by a staggering $21.9 billion. Prior to the start of 2015, Slim's net worth was estimated at $77.1 billion. As of the close of the markets on December 8th, his net worth had fallen to $57 billion.
Slim is now the fourth richest person in the world. Spanish retail mogul Amancio Ortega, with a net worth of $78 billion is the new second richest person in the world. Also topping Slim is legendary businessman Warren Buffet, at $62 billion. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is nipping at Slim's heels with a $55 billion net worth.
The massive drop in Slim's net worth is due to the weak performance of the stock of America Movil, the telecom company owned by Slim and his children. The US-traded shares of Latin America's biggest wireless telecom and cable TV provider have also been hit by large depreciations of the dollar, as well as tougher antitrust rules aimed at cracking down on budding monopolies in the Mexican telecom industry.
The peso has also lost value against the dollar. The peso is down about 20%. This has contributed to America Movil's shocking 2.884 billion peso ($170 million) loss in the third quarter alone. This is the company's first quarterly loss in almost 14 years.
Unfortunately for Slim, shares in his bank, Grupo Financiero Inbursa have also fallen.
Slim's fortune has also been hit hard by the fall in gold prices, which are at a six-year low. Shares of Minera Frisco, his mining company have fallen 53%. This has made it one of the worst performing mining companies in the world this year.
It's not all bad news for Slim. Early in 2015 he became the New York Times' largest individual investor when he exercised warrants that more than doubled his stake in the Old Gray Lady from 7% to 17%. Slim made his original investment in the New York Times when the media company was going through a bit of a rough patch in 2009.
This past spring, Slim's companies bough two prime commercial buildings in the U.S. In March, Grupo Carso, Slim's conglomerate, bought the headquarters of PepsiCo Americas Beverages in Westchester County New York for $87 million. Slim's company also bought downtown Detroit's Marquette Building for $5.7 million.
Slim is also selling his 100-year old Beaux Arts mansion on New York City's Fifth Avenue. He bought it in 2010 for $44 million. The lavish townhouse is now listed for $80 million.
What we're saying is, Carlos Slim Helu may be this year's biggest billionaire loser, but he's not going to be standing in line for food stamps or eating government cheese anytime soon.