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World’s Richest Man, Carlos Slim, Bets on Gold with $750 Million Purchase from AuRico

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The world’s richest and most successful businessmen is bullish on gold. So bullish in fact, that he just agreed to purchase the Ocampo gold mine and other assets from AuRico Gold (AUQ) for $750 million. This is the largest ever gold deal involving a Mexican company and gives some indication of where the world’s wealthiest man is putting his money. AuRico’s stock shot 20% higher on the news.

Carlos Slim is a Mexican business magnate and philanthropist. Slim has been ranked the richest person in the world since 2010. His extensive holdings in a considerable number of Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso, SA de CV, have amassed interests in the fields of communications, technology, retailing, and finance. Presently he is the chairman and chief executive of telecommunications companies Telmex and América Móvil.

América Móvil, which in 2010 was Latin America’s largest mobile-phone carrier, accounted for around US$49 billion of Slim’s wealth by the end of 2010. His corporate holdings as of March 2012 have been estimated at US$69 billion.

Slim is betting precious metals will show resilience as the global economy struggles to grow. The price of gold, which is poised to rise for the 12th straight year, hasn’t dropped below $1,500 an ounce in more than a year. Both gold and silver are finally starting to break out after a long consolidation, causing excitement in the gold investment community.

However, it is not just gold bugs making such bullish predictions. Bank of America recently initiated a $2,500 price target with one of their analysts upping the ante to $3,000 within a year. A fund manager from BlackRock is predicting $2,400 by the Summer of 2013.

Carlos Slim is not alone amongst the world’s wealthiest people that are shifting their assets to gold. Just two months ago it was reported that George Soros sold all of his bank stocks and went long some 884,000 shares (approx. $130 million) of Gold via the SPDR Gold Trust.

The world’s largest buyers of gold, central banks, have also been purchasing gold in record amounts. The banks bought 273 tons in the first half of the year, 34 percent more than a year earlier, and will purchase 220 tons more by year end.

Click here for the full Carlos Slim/AuRico article from Bloomberg/Businessweek.

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