How He Made His Pile: Carlos Slim Helu - Telecoms magnate

Who is he? The Mexican investor is now the world's second-richest man, behind Bill Gates. His wealth has grown by a staggering £11.5 billion since early last year, and the 67-year-old is now worth £26.9 billion.

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Last Updated: 21 Jul 2014

How did he make his billions? The young Slim's Lebanese father made him record how he spent his pocket money. He learnt his lesson: by 26 he had made $400,000. From the mid-60s, he built up his Grupo Carso, with a bottling plant, construction company and real-estate firm, before moving into tobacco, restaurants and banking. Since 1990, he has dominated Mexican telecoms too. His 30% stake in wireless firm America Movil is worth $24 billion.

The secret of his success? Mexico's popular media put it down to Slim's powerful chums - the president among them. But he's a bold operator. In the early '80s, when other investors were bailing out, he picked up assets cheaply. Insurer Seguros de Mexico cost him $13 million in 1984; it's now worth $1.5 billion.

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