Meet Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, older brother of Egypt's richest man...
Like many other big investors, Sawiris sees warning signs ahead and has taken action - putting half of his $5.7 billion net worth into gold.
Bloomberg reports that he said in an interview Monday that he believes gold prices will rally further, reaching $1,800 per ounce from just above $1,300 now, while “overvalued” stock markets crash.
“In the end you have China and they will not stop consuming. And people also tend to go to gold during crises and we are full of crises right now,” Sawiris said at his office in Cairo overlooking the Nile.
“Look at the Middle East and the rest of the world and Mr. Trump doesn’t help.”
However, as Bloomberg notes, Sawiris also has a major investment that President Trump could very much help him with...
If a North Korean peace deal can be reached, the Egyptian’s investments there may finally pay off. After 10 years of waiting to repatriate all his profits easily and control his mobile-phone company, Egypt’s second-richest man says an accord would let him reap some of his returns.
“I am taking all the hits, I am being paid in a currency that doesn’t get exchanged very easily, I have put a lot of money and built a hotel and did a lot of good stuff there,” said Sawiris, who founded North Korea’s first telecom operator, Koryolink. The North Korean unit’s costs and revenues aren’t currently recognized on the financial statements of Sawiris’ Orascom Telecom Media & Technology Holding SAE.
Sawiris over the years has been pressured by “every single Western government in the world” for his presence in the country hit by international sanctions for its nuclear threats, he said, but he considered himself a “goodwill investor.”
His advice for governments and to Trump ahead of his expected meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un: Don’t bully him, and promise prosperity in exchange for concessions on nuclear.
“I know these North Korean people. They are very proud, they will not yield under threat and bullying. You just smile and talk and sit down and they will come through,” he said.
Finally, and notably, Bloomberg reports that Sawiris is giving investment priority to his homeland after an International Monetary Fund-backed reform program that began in 2016, saying that his view of Saudi Arabia was negatively impacted by a corruption crackdown that led to the arrest of high-profile princes and billionaires in November. Authorities need to ensure there is rule of law and order and transparency, he said.