Asia's Richest Man, Li Ka-Shing, Looking to Make Gold Investments
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,403.75, EUR 1,065.63 and GBP 899.67 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,391.25, EUR 1,056.06 and GBP 893.09 per ounce.
Gold climbed $17.50 or 1.26% yesterday, closing at $1,411.80/oz. Silver surged $0.83 or 3.54%, closing at $24.26. Platinum rose $18.60 or 1.2% to $1,532.80/oz, while palladium inched up $2.97 or 0.4% to $715.47/oz just before the close.
Gold pulled back this morning on the open in Asia in an unusual manner which saw a quick almost instantaneous $8 drop from $1,412/oz to a price quote at $1,404.45/oz and then a recovery to $1,412/oz.
Thereafter gold gradually trended lower on technical selling and profit taking after breaching $1,400/oz and rising to $1,415/oz yesterday after Israel launched a test missile which heightened tensions in the region and President Obama received support from some senior republicans for a strike on Syria.
Friday's non farm payroll data may foreshadow the U.S. Fed's imminent decision on tapering to come at the FOMC meeting later this month.
Geopolitical concerns about conflict in the Middle East will support gold. The Middle East remains a powder keg and one wrong move could lead to conflict, higher oil prices and a new bout of 'risk off' sentiment which would support gold.
The gold mining strikes in South Africa are also supporting gold prices and industrial unrest, along with infrastructural and geological constraints, have greatly reduced production and therefore supply from South Africa.
According to Bloomberg, Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-Shing, is looking to make gold investments.
The Chinese born, Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist is considered to be the richest person in Asia and the richest person of Chinese descent in the world. Forbes estimates he is the 11th richest person in the world with a net worth of $27 billion in U.S. dollars. Two of his sons are believed to be billionaires in their own right.
His primary operating company is Hutchison Whampoa Limited, owner of the mobile phone network, Three.
CEF Holdings Ltd., a venture between Li Ka-shing’s flagship company and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, is looking to acquire gold assets after a slump in prices created buying opportunities.
“Long term, gold is a good place to be,” CEF Chief Executive Officer Warren Gilman, 53, said in an interview in Hong Kong.
Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd, controlled by Li, Asia’s richest man, and CIBC each own 50% of CEF. The venture is focused on owning gold mining companies globally.
Gilman previously co-founded Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s (CIBC) global mining group and was later vice chairman of the bank’s CIBC World Markets.
“I was a little uncomfortable making investment in gold at $1,700 and $1,800 an ounce,” Gilman said yesterday. “The correction we’ve had this year from my perspective is great because we can hopefully fulfill that objective of making some gold investments.”
Li, 85, has an estimated net worth of $27 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
CEF Holdings was established in 1974 by Cheung Kong and CIBC, Gilman said.
“It’s tougher and tougher to find economic gold deposits in safe jurisdictions,” Gilman said. “You see mine supply struggling to keep up with demand long term. That’s a great recipe for higher prices in the longer term.”
Li Ka Shing charity foundation is called the “Heart of Gold” and has recently been extended from Mainland China to Hong Kong.
Ka Shing is known to have a penchant for hard assets and owns infrastructure, shipping, energy and real estate assets, but it is not known if he owns physical gold.
It is likely that he does, as he is Chinese and was a Chinese refugee who fled to Hong Kong with his family to avoid the perils of war. Refugees who flee from their homeland to start new lives in other countries tend to have a deeper appreciation of and understand the importance of owning physical gold.
Most people in Asia, from the man in the street to very wealthy people, own some physical bullion for financial insurance purposes. Increasingly, in Asia and elsewhere, high net worth individuals and family offices are investing in gold as means to protect wealth from currency devaluations.