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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 August 2007, 07:18 GMT 08:18 UK
Mexican leads Fortune rich list
Carlos Slim
Mr Slim has overtaken Bill Gates as the world's richest person
Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has been ranked by Fortune magazine as the richest person in the world, beating Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Mr Slim, 67, is estimated to have $59bn (29bn), while Mr Gates is said to have $58bn, the magazine reported.

Mr Slim's wealth has grown by $12bn this year, based on the market value of the firms he owns.

The ranking echoes an earlier rich-list by Mexican financial website Sentido Comun, which also put Mr Slim first.

It's water off a duck's back to me
Carlos Slim

In early July, the Mexican website said Mr Slim's fortunes had grown significantly after a 27% surge in the share price of his largest company, America Movil, in which he has a 33% share.

Varied investments

According to Fortune magazine, Mr Slim's portfolio of firms represent a third of the Mexican stock market.

But the tycoon - the son of Lebanese immigrants - appeared unimpressed by the title.

"It's water off a duck's back to me. I don't know if I'm number one, number 20 or number 2,000. It doesn't matter," he said.

Earlier this year Mr Slim overtook US investor Warren Buffett as the number two richest person, according to Fortune magazine.

Mr Slim started his business life in property before investing in a stock brokerage, a bottling company, and, more recently, the telephone sector.

Mr Slim also owns the Inbursa financial group and the Grupo Carso industrial conglomerate, whose investments include retail stores and restaurants.

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