Billionaire Naguib Sawiris is joining the rush to explore Egypt’s untapped gold deposits as a shakeup in regulations attracts investors. With a net worth of roughly $3.2 billion, Naguib Sawiris is the 2nd wealthiest person in Egypt, according to Forbes REAL-TIME Billionaires Index.
Naguib Onsi Sawiris, who hails from an industrialist family, made most of his fortune through telecommunications as the founder of Orascom, which he stepped down from as chairman in 2017. His brother Nassef Sawiris is also a billionaire.
AKH Gold, a subsidiary of Altus Strategies Plc, which is backed by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, on Wednesday signed 4 contracts to explore in 9 blocks of Egypt’s gold-rich eastern desert. The deals, which will see AKH Gold invest about $4.1 million to search for gold in nine sectors in the Eastern Desert.
Egypt has only one commercial gold mine, Centamin Plc’s Sukari, which contributes up to $900 million a year to the nation’s gross domestic product.
To stoke investor interest, Egypt last year introduced new regulations that eliminated the need for miners to form joint ventures with the government and limited state royalties to a maximum of 20%.
Naguib Onsi Sawiris is chairman and CEO of Orascom Investment Holding, a holding company with a diversified investment portfolio targeting high-growth sectors where it sees opportunities of transformation and community impact in Egypt and Africa, including financial services & fintech, telecommunications, and destination development.
He founded Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) and led it to become the leading regional telecom player until the much-publicized merger deal with VEON (formerly VimpelCom Ltd.), creating the world’s sixth-largest mobile telecommunications provider in April 2011. In 2015, the Sawiris family acquired a majority stake in Euronews where Mr. SawirisNaguib Sawiris is Chairman of the supervisory board.
Mr. Sawiris holds a diploma of Mechanical Engineering with a Masters in Technical Administration from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zürich) and a Diploma from the German Evangelical School, Cairo, Egypt.