NPO | Little known outside Mexico, world's richest man pledges some of fortune to charity with reser

The richest man in the world is no longer American, but Mexican, a sign of the developing world's wealth -- and potentially foreshadowing a shift in philanthropy.

With $53.5-billion, the Mexican telecommunications investor Carlos Slim Helu edged out Bill Gates as the top billionaire, says Forbes magazine. It also notes that Brazil, Russia, and Turkey experienced significant growth in the number of superwealthy.

While America is still home to the largest number of billionaires (403), the growing personal assets in other places could lead to big giving, philanthropy experts told The Chronicle in a recent article. They predicted India, China, and Brazil could have a boom in splashy charitable donations in the near future.
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Profile: Carlos Slim


He doesn't bother with private jets, shuns flashy offices, and for most of the 1990s made do with a plastic watch.

And while he does have a laptop, he is adamant that he does not use it, saying: "I'm a paper man, not electronic."

Carlos Slim
Carlos Slim makes his billions from a wide range of investments

Not the kind of attributes you might expect from someone who has now been named the richest man in the world by Forbes magazine.

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim is now worth $53.5bn (£35.8bn). That puts him above Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, but unlike his US rivals, he remains relatively unknown outside of his native Latin America.

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