Forbes is no stranger to showcasing the world's richest people - and (to no one's surprise) Arabs always top the ranking. But, recently, the American business magazine listed 2018's "Biggest Billionaire Winners and Losers" ... and one Arab lost big time.
Carlos Slim Helú - born in Mexico to Lebanese parents - lost $9.3 billion during 2018, making him the fifth "biggest billionaire" who lost big time in the past year.
This came after the U.S. dollar spiked, leaving Latin American currencies in survival mode. Throughout the course of the year, the dollar witnessed lows (88.15 in mid-February) and highs (reaching a peak of 97.705 in mid-December.) Several elements including higher U.S. interest rates caused the dollar to increase against other currencies across the world, including Latin America.
It was only natural that Helú, the chairman and CEO of Latin American telecommunications giant América Móvil, would see a dip in his net worth.
América Móvil's stock price fell 19 percent in 2018
Earlier this month, the telecom giant said it had been fined nearly $128 million by the country's telecoms regulator. Its Telmex subsidiary received a fine after failing to meet "quality standards for the telecoms infrastructure it offered other companies in 2013 and 2014," according to Reuters.
Helú has been ranked among the richest people in the world, with a previously estimated net worth of $69 billion, according to HowMuch.net.
Helú is the chairman and CEO of Telmex, América Móvil, Samsung Mexico, and Grupo Carso.
In 2008, Forbes ranked Helú as the world's second-richest person, right after Warren Buffett. During the years between 2010 and 2013, Helú was named the world's wealthiest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $73 billion in 2013. However, Helú's net worth dropped by nearly $5 billion in just four days, following Donald Trump's presidential election. In 2017, Forbes ranked Helú as the 6th wealthiest person in the world.
Helú ended 2018 with a $9.3 billion loss ... but hey, he's still a billionaire with an estimated net worth of $56.8 billion.