A closer look at the Forbes billionaire data for Latin America.
BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
The total fortune of Latin America’s 64 billionaires grew by 10.4 percent last year to $367.8 billion, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of estimates from Forbes.
That marks a new record, although the increase from 2011 is a slowdown compared to the rates the previous years. In the 2011-10 period, the fortune grew by 46.7 percent, while it jumped 84.3 percent in the period 2009-10.
Carlos Slim remains the richest man in Latin America and the world, followed by Brazil’s Eike Batista and Chile’s Iris Fontbona.
Slim’s fortune of $69 billion is almost as large as the total GDP of Ecuador, Latin America’s 8th-largest economy, while Batista’s estimated fortune is almost equivalent to the GDP of Panama, according to a Latin Business Chronicle comparison of data from Forbes and the International Monetary Fund. Batista’s fortune is larger than the GDP of countries like Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras and Paraguay.
However, this year saw a new entry in fourth place -- Mexican mogul Ricardo Salinas, who saw his estimated fortune double to $17.4 billion.
His fortune is twice as large as the GDP of Haiti, while Venezuelan mogul Gustavo Cisneros’ estimated fortune is more than half as large as the GDP of Nicaragua.
Although Slim dominates the list, Brazil is the country that can boast most billionaires. 37 versus 12 in Mexico. The remaining 15 come from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.
This year there were 12 more billionaires in Latin America than last year – half of them from Brazil alone. Argentina and Peru gained two new billionaires each, while Chile, Colombia and Mexico also added one new billionaire each.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg just launched a Billionaire Index that tracks the estimated daily fortune of Slim, Batista and 18 other people that are ranked as the richest in the world. Forbes has announced that it plans a similar list, but covering 50 individuals and updated every 15 minutes.
Here are the links to the results of Forbes’ annual ranking:
Latin America’s Billionaires 2012: Full Ranking
Latin America’s Billionaires 2012: Country Data
Richest People and Country GDPs
2012 estimated fortunes and country GDPs in billions of US dollars.
Luis Carlos Sarmiento
Sources: Forbes (billionaire estimated fortune),
International Monetary Fund (GDP),
Latin Business Chronicle (ranking)