Peso Rout Shaves $16 Billion Off Fortunes of Mexico’s Wealthiest

(Bloomberg) -- The rout in the Mexican peso after the stronger-than-expected victory by President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum has delivered a blow to the country’s wealthiest business people.

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Since the June 2 election, the collective fortunes of five Mexican moguls among the world’s 500 richest people, including Carlos Slim and German Larrea, tumbled $16 billion to $153 billion through Wednesday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The peso rose Thursday for the first time in three sessions — gaining 1% against the US dollar — though the currency is still down 8.5% this year.

The “super peso” under outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had buoyed the billionaires for the past six years even as other emerging market currencies weakened. Now the uncertainty around constitutional reforms that may be pushed through before he leaves in October is unwinding much of the gains.

While none of the proposed reforms directly target industries like telecom, mining and media that have minted their fortunes, the possibility of overhauling the judiciary could damage the rule of law in the country and sour the investment environment.

Among the top five, only Juan Beckmann, the patriarch behind the family that owns Jose Cuervo tequila, has seen his net worth increase, climbing $270 million to $7.2 billion.

Slim, who fell below the $100 billion mark after the vote and frequently met with Lopez Obrador, was seen chatting with Sheinbaum at an event this week at his museum in Mexico City.

Since winning the presidency, Sheinbaum hasn’t publicly acknowledged any sit-down meetings with local business leaders. Instead, she has shared photographs of meetings with representatives for international companies such as BlackRock Inc. and Walmart Inc.

--With assistance from Jack Witzig and Carolina Millan.

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