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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Health centre targets LatAm poor
Carlos Slim
Mr Slim was ranked as the world's richest man in mid-2007
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has opened a health centre for people from Latin America's poorest regions.

The non-profit centre is based in the Mexican capital, Mexico City.

The $500m (248m) Carso Health Institute will help families "most in need", said Mr Slim's son, Marco Antonio Slim.

Mr Slim has been ranked by Fortune magazine as the world's richest person, with a fortune estimated between $59bn (29bn) and $67.8bn (33.6bn).

The son of Lebanese immigrants, Mr Slim claimed the top spot on the rich list from Microsoft founder Bill Gates in mid-2007.

Huge portfolio

The Carso Health Institute will be run by Marco Antonio Slim and a former Mexican Health Minister, Julio Frenk.

"[We have] long worked on health and education," Mr Slim told AFP news agency.

"What we are doing now is to speed up the process by creating this institute so that it can find solutions to health problems."

Mr Slim's business portfolio represents a third of the Mexican stock market, according to Fortune magazine.

He owns Mexican phone company Telmex, which runs 90% of the country's land-line phones. He also controls Inbursa financial group and Grupo Carso, which owns businesses ranging from retail stores to restaurants.

In August, Mr Slim said he would donate up to 250,000 low-cost laptops to Mexican schools and libraries by the end of 2007.

About 45% of Mexicans live in poverty, according to World Bank figures.

Mexican leads Fortune rich list
07 Aug 07 |  Business
Mexican 'world's richest person'
03 Jul 07 |  Business
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02 Feb 07 |  Americas
Profile: Carlos Slim
04 Jul 07 |  Business
Timeline: Mexico
13 Jul 07 |  Country profiles

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