Bill Gates cedes world's richest title to Mexican tycoon

Other News Materials 4 July 2007 15:55 (UTC +04:00)

( RIA Novosti ) - The Sentido Comun Web site has voted Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim, 67, the world's richest person, with an estimated personal worth of $67.8 billion, the Libre Belgique online newspaper reported Wednesday.

The Belgian source quoted Sentido Comun as saying that Carlos Slim had left Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft Corporation who has $59.2 billion, behind with an almost $9 billion gap between them.

Slim owns Latin America's largest telecom company America Movil, the INBURSA financial group, the Curso industrial group and a chain of shops and restaurants. U.S. Forbes magazine has not yet confirmed the information.

Gates has topped Forbes' list of billionaires for 13 years running. Although Slim ranked third in the list less than six months ago, his wealth has grown the fastest over a year following an increase in the cost of his monopoly assets.

Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex) controls over 90% of the market of fixed-line telephony, and America Movil operator, which services the entire Latin America, accounts for 75% of the market with more than 44.9 million subscribers.

Slim holds 41% of the common stock at America Movil and a 42.6% stake in Telmex, owning over 50% of voting shares in both companies.

Slim has also been consolidating his presence in various sectors of the economy and has no intention to relax his grip. "Wealth is like a fruit garden," the Mexican billionaire said in an interview. "You should share fruit, not the trees."