Mexico’s richest man, Carlos Slim, has seen his personal fortune shrink by $16billion because of Donald Trump.
When Trump launched his presidential bid on June 15, 2015, the Mexican telecoms tycoon’s wealth stood at $67billion.
As a result of Trump reaching the White House and the consequent slide in the Mexican currency, the peso, Slim’s fortune has slipped to $51billion.
One of Trump’s key policies was to crack down on illegal immigration, build a huge wall along the entire 2,000 mile frontier with Mexico and get the Mexicans to pay the cost – which could be up to $21billion.
President Enrique Peña Nieto has said Mexico will not pay for the wall but the row has hit the peso, which has slid considerably against the dollar in the last 18 months.
The dollar is currently worth 19.87 pesos, up from 15.67 in June 2015.
Slim’s money is largely tied up in Mexico and he has therefore slipped from top spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index to sixth.
He has diversified in recent years so all his eggs are not in the Mexican basket – he has interests in Brazil, Spain and the US and recently took over cellphone provider Telekom Austria.
But there are rumors that the 77-year-old – whose low profile could not be further from the publicity-loving Trump – could be considering a run for the Mexican Presidency.
Slim said in December he would never run for office but David Crow, a political analyst with the Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas in Mexico City, told Bloomberg: ‘Nobody quite believes him or wants to believe him. He out-Trumps Trump. He’s similar as a private sector guy, but he’s fabulously wealthy and far outpaces Trump in that regard.’
Slim reportedly met Trump – who is worth a mere $3billion – in December but there was not a meeting of minds.
Mexico will hold presidential elections next year and President Nieto is not eligible for a second term.
A poll by El Universal in January showed Slim was favored by Mexican voters, ahead of populist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is due to visit El Paso next week to show solidarity with Mexicans living under Trump in the US.