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Carlos Slim Won't Give Away His Fortune Like Buffett and Gates


Carlos Slim, the world's wealthiest man, is bullish on Mexico and says he is staying in the country. The mansion that he bought in New York is too big to live in—it's purely for investment. Carlos Slim

In a wide-ranging interview, the telecom magnate also put to rest rumors about a large mining acquisition, explained his rationale for buying nearly $200 million in New York real estate, and why he is not making the pledge to give away half his wealth like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Slim says he is investing heavily in Mexico, buying real estate and just this month spinning off two companies that are newly listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange. 

In fact, he says those choosing not to invest in Mexico are making a big mistake: They will lose. "If they are already here, they will lose market share. If they are not here they will lose a very big market. We are 110-112 million people, and growing the economy," Slim says.

 

On donating half his fortune to charity, which other billionaires like Buffett and Gates are doing, Slim says it's the wrong way to resolve the world's problems.

"What we need to do as businessmen, is to help to solve the problems, the social problems," he explains. "To fight poverty, but not by charity"

In addition, he says, donating the money to charity will result in huge tax deductions, depriving governments of much-needed tax revenue.

"I think it will be a big mistake that companies like Microsoft , Apple —the leaders of the world in technology—be sold by the founders to put the cash to fund charities. They shouldn't. It is more important that they continue manage the companies."

As for his recent purchase of a mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York for $44 million, he scoffed at the notion that someone would live there, suggesting that it was too big, because it has at least eight floors. Instead, he is going to turn it into several apartments and perhaps lease part of the building to a restaurant at the street level.

Slim himself lives in a modest home in Mexico City and says he doesn't like owning homes outside the country because they are too much of a headache. He says he would rather stay in a hotel.

 

Slim said rumors that he wants to buy the Fresnillo mining company, listed in London, are completely untrue. Slim already has a mining company that he just spun off and listed on the Mexican stock exchange this month, Minera Frisco. Its products include zinc, silver, and gold.

He is very pleased with his investment in The New York Times he says, and is not interested in trying to buy the company in the way that Rupert Murdoch bought Wall Street Journal owner Dow Jones. Slim owns 10 million shares and lent the company $250 million with a 14 percent interest rate in late 2009.

He is making $35 million in interest payments alone every year. Plus, he received warrants giving him the rights to 15.9 million shares.

"It was a financial investment. We made a convertible bond, a bond with warrants. We are very happy with the formula," he says.

Slim added, "We are not asking them how the business is going. We are looking from the outside. What they are going to do? What are their plans? We are not asking about that. We know that they are doing a good job."

When it comes to his telecom companies, his next goal is broadband penetration levels of up to 70 percent in Latin America. Currently the number stands at less than 20 percent. Now that wireless penetration is nearing 100 percent or more (because some people have more than one phone), the next step is to be able to provide internet connections via smart phones on a large scale.


Comments

# re: Carlos Slim Won't Give Away His Fortune Like Buffett and Gates

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 12:03 PM by ROBIN FRIZZELLE

CARLOS SLIM IS RICH BECAUSE HE HAS NO GENEOSITY OF SPIRIT. HE'S HAS A TELECOMMUNICATION MONOPOLY HERE IN MEXICO THAT IS TAKING UP TO 50% OF PEOPLES ANNUAL INCOME THROUGH INTERNET AND CELL PHONE'S. HE NOW HAS MORE MONEY THAN HE CAN EVER SPEND. HE NEEDS TO GIVE SOMETHING BACK AND THE BEST WAY I CAN SEE TO DO THAT IS REDUCE THE INCREDIBLE PROFIT MARGIN BUILT INTO HIS TELMEX CONGLOMERATE. I SEE MANY OF OUR MEXICAN FRIEND'S GOING WITHOUT BASIC DAILY STAPLES IN ORDER TO HAVE CEL'S AND INTERNET. COME ON CARLOS, IT'S TIME TO GIVE BACK TO YOUR PEOPLE.

# re: Carlos Slim Won't Give Away His Fortune Like Buffett and Gates

Saturday, February 12, 2011 7:17 AM by Edy

Do what you do best, "The poor will always be with us" Why would you reduce the cost so more people could afford them. If you don't need it, why have it? If you cannot afford it, why go without food? Every body feels entitled to the latest gadgets and such. I make good money, but I do not have internet on my phone because I simply do not need it or whant to pay for it, cool phones? of course. The internet has created more job losses on domestic manufacturing and production then the few high paying jobs it has created. It will cost us dearly down the line... You got money cuz you know what to do with it, let the lames keep wondering...

# re: Carlos Slim Won't Give Away His Fortune Like Buffett and Gates

Saturday, February 12, 2011 7:24 AM by Edy

Some people enslave themselves to poverty by working day and night for peanuts. Other do it for gold nuggets. In the end, all slaves....

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