Egyptian billionaire Sawiris boosts exposure to gold

Naguib Sawiris. (Image from archives)

Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris said he is increasing his exposure to gold as the traditional haven struggles amid the market turmoil.

“I believe that when there is crisis, when people are done covering their margin cost, it’s gonna go up,” Sawiris told Bloomberg TV on Monday. “I’m still a buyer and I’m still increasing my position.”

“I’m only buying mining shares,” he said, when asked if was buying physical gold. “I’m increasing my stake in my company because the cost of producing an ounce is much lesser than the gold price itself.”

Gold has fallen as the coronavirus pandemic intensified, capping back-to-back weekly losses on Friday. Hedge funds and other large speculators cut their long position in U.S. gold futures and options by the most in more than 12 years in the week ended March 17, government data showed Friday. Money managers fled as the metal joined the sell-off convulsing markets from oil to copper.

Egypt last month announced a new exploration tender for gold-mining and the government is in talks with Sawiris regarding his possible purchase of a stake in Shalateen, a state-run mining company.

Sawiris also said:

  • “There could be opportunities coming up now in consolidation. I think what should happen now in many industries is consolidations whether it’s in telecom or internet”
  • “Even mining companies should consolidate right now and come together because these are difficult times and we need to extract synergies to reduce our overall cost.”

(By Manus Cranny and Farah Elbahrawy)

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