The combined net worth of Mexico's billionaires increased $1.6 billion this year, from $142.9 to $144.5 — or 1.12%. Mexican billionaires did better than in 2014, when their combined wealth dropped by 4%, but their aggregate wealth is still below the 2013 level of $148.6 billion.
Based on the 2015 Forbes billionaire data, with a net worth of $77.1 billion (equal to 6.1% of Mexico's GDP), Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helú kept his #2 position in the world's billionaires rankings for the second consecutive year. In 2014, Slim lost the richest-person-on-the-planet title to Microsoft founder Bill Gates who, according to Forbes, has held the title for 16 of the past 21 years.
Slim's fortune grew $5.1 billion, the fifth biggest gainer among the world's top 10 richest persons. American investor and leading philanthropist Warren Buffett, whose fortune grew $14.5 billion, is the biggest gainer in the world's 2015 rankings.
Slim kept the second title despite dropping to third place during the year, and changes in the Mexican telecom landscape, where he has prospered greatly since the early 1990 when he bought Mexico's national telephone company from the government. A new anti-monopoly law is driving some of the shifts in the telecom industry in Mexico.
There are 16 Mexicans on this year's billionaires list, which is composed of the same persons as last year's, with a single exception. David Peñaloza Alanís replaced his father, construction businessmen David Peñaloza Sandoval, after a transfer of shares from dad to son. Peñaloza Alanís's net wealth fell $900, from $2.1 to $1.2 billion.
Of the combined $144.5 billion fortune (11.5% of Mexico's GDP) of this year's Mexican billionaires, Slim's $77.1 billion accounts for 53.4 %. Eight of this year's billionaires saw their fortunes grow, while six fell and two remained unchanged. However, Slim's $5.1 billion gain was not only by far the single largest expansion but significantly above the $1.9 billion combined expansions of the others.
Besides Slim, this year's three biggest Mexican gainers are media mogul Emilio Azcarraga Jean, up $500 million; banker Carlos Hank Rhon and beer maker María Asunción Aramburuzabala, up $400 million each. The three moved up in this year's global rankings.Read more at Forbes.com.