Billionaire Motsepe keeps Harmony stake – confident of gold’s future

by Antony Sguazzin and Andre Janse van Vuuren from Bloomberg

Harmony Gold 3 year graph
Harmony Gold 3 year graph

African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., owned by billionaire Patrice Motsepe, will keep its stake in Harmony Gold Mining Co. even as South Africa’s third-biggest miner of the metal trades at 17-year lows.

“I am very confident about the future of gold,” Motsepe said in an interview in Cape Town Thursday. “We will continue looking after our interests in Harmony and I have no doubt in the medium- to long-term, I think gold will do well.”

Harmony, 14.6 percent held by African Rainbow according to data compiled by Bloomberg, lost 83 percent of its market value to about 7.2 billion rand ($580 million) in the past four years. It’s cutting jobs and spending to battle rising costs amid a 24 percent decline in gold prices over the same period.

African Rainbow is down 19 percent this year after a plunge in prices of iron ore, the biggest contributor to sales.

The company, which also mines platinum, won’t seek a stake in the South African assets that Anglo American Plc wants to sell, Motsepe said at the World Economic Forum.

“We don’t see any good opportunities in the assets,” said the African Rainbow executive chairman, who has a net worth of $1.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

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