Mexican Billionaire is Richest Man of 2012

April 8, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. telecommunications (n.) [tel-i-kuh-myoo-ni-key-shuhnz] – the technology that allows information to be passed through devices such as mobile phones, television, satellite, etc.
ExampleThe telecommunications company will raise their calling rates soon.

2. tycoon (n.) 
[tahy-koon] – a rich and powerful businessperson
ExampleThe tycoon owns several businesses.

3. developing country (n.) [dih-vel-uh-ping][kuhn-tree]  a country that has poor economy and living standards
Example: Most developing nations cannot provide proper health care for their citizens.

4. outrun (v.) [out-ruhn– beat; to move ahead of someone
Example The popular politician might outrun his unfriendly competitor in the coming election.

5. newcomer (n.) [noo-kuhm-er, nyoo-] – someone who has just been included or added
ExampleNewcomers to the company should study the rules.

Read the text below.

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu remains this year’s richest man in the world for the third consecutive year according to publishing company Forbes.

Slim recently topped Forbes’ World’s Billionaires 2012, a list compiled by more than 50 reporters from 16 countries every year.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett follow Slim at second and third place respectively.

The 72-year-old Slim, who gained most of his fortune through his telecommunications companies Telmex and America Movil, is the first billionaire from a developing country to top Forbes’ list. The son of Lebanese immigrants, Slim still maintains a modest lifestyle—he drives himself to work and lives in his thirty-year-old house in Mexico.

Despite remaining on the top spot, Slim’s fortune is already $5 billion lower than last year’s figure. Gates may soon outrun him, with Gate’s $61 billion net worth only eight points away from Slim’s $69 billion fortune. Recently, Microsoft’s shares have been increasing in value.

Young newcomers are also included in this year’s list. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 27, and Sarah Blakely, creator of undergarment line Spanx, both gained their fortune by creating popular brands for consumers. Blakely is currently the youngest female billionaire at 41.

With 1,226 billionaires and a combined net worth of $4.6 trillion dollars, this is Forbes’ record-breaking list to date. The list is comprised of people from 58 countries, majority of whom comes from the US, China and Russia. It also included 128 new billionaires.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think makes a billionaire?
·         Are there any disadvantages to being a billionaire? If yes, what are those? If no, why do you think so?

Discussion B

·         What businesses do you think are highly profitable now? Please explain your answer.
·         What business would you be interested to get into? Why?


April 8, 2012