Photo: Carlos Slim
Mexican magnate Carlos Slim could lose his position as the world’s wealthiest individual after proposed telecommunications legislation sent the share price of his America Movil phone company sharply lower, Forbes magazine reported.
Slim has topped that publication’s global list of billionaires - the latest of which was released on March 4 and put the Mexican tycoon’s net worth at $73 billion - for four years running.
But proposed legislation presented this week and backed by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and all three of the country’s main political parties could force Mexico’s dominant telecommunications and broadcast TV companies - America Movil and Televisa, respectively - to sell off some of their assets.
If approved, the bill might also open the door to increased foreign investment in those sectors.
America Movil units Telcel and Telmex control 70 percent and 84 percent, respectively, of Mexico’s mobile and fixed-line markets.
The unveiling of the bill affected America Movil’s share price on the New York Stock Exchange, which fell nearly 13 percent this week.
The lower price means that Slim’s holdings in the company are now worth $31 billion, compared with $36 billion when Forbes compiled its billionaires list at the start of March, the magazine said.
Slim’s net worth has fallen to roughly $67.5 billion, just slightly higher than that of the second-wealthiest person, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Forbes said. E