Worth Your Weight In Gold?

While Ben Bernanke remains unable to value the precious metal, it seems the Arabs are very capable of discerning at least one relative value. In a fascinating effort to reign in Dubai’s growing obesity epidemic, the government is willing to pay its citizens (in gold) for losing weight. For each kilo of excess that is lost, the government will pay 1 gram of gold (around $42). There is no discernment – apparently – in the “Your Weight In Gold” initiative that the weight loss be ‘fat’ which make us wonder how many would ‘give their right arm’ for a few ounces of gold?

Via Reuters,

Dubai’s government will pay residents in gold for losing those extra pounds as part of a government campaign to fight growing obesity in the Gulf Arab emirate.

The 30-day weight-loss challenge was launched on Friday to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when the faithful refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours.

For every kilogram dropped by Aug. 16, contestants who register from Friday can walk away with a gram of gold, currently worth about $42, Dubai’s civic authority announced as part of its ‘Your Weight in Gold’ initiative.

The top three dieters can win gold coins worth up to 20,000 dirhams ($5,400). The contestant has to lose a minimum 2 kgs (4.4 pounds) to qualify for the contest.

Oil wealth and high household incomes have led to overeating, high-sugar diets and a heavy reliance on cars for getting around, leading to an explosion of diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses.

Five of the 10 countries where diabetes is most prevalent are in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), an umbrella organisation of more than 200 national associations.

Child obesity is also a growing problem.

Dubai is known for its larger-than-life offers. It has a history of giving away luxury cars and yachts in lucky draws and is home to one the largest gold markets in the region. The emirate even has gold vending machines in shopping malls.

Source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-19/worth-your-weight-gold

Dubai offers emirate’s top dieters $5,400 in gold coins for weight loss

DUBAI – Dubai’s government will pay residents in gold for losing those extra pounds as part of a government campaign to fight growing obesity in the Gulf Arab emirate.

he 30-day weight-loss challenge was launched on Friday to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when the faithful refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours.

Many eat too much after breaking the fast, tucking into traditional dishes loaded with fat and sugar that can push their daily calorie intake well above levels outside of Ramadan.

For every kilogram dropped by August 16, contestants who register from Friday can walk away with a gram of gold, currently worth about $42, Dubai’s civic authority announced as part of its ‘Your Weight in Gold’ initiative.

The top three dieters can win gold coins worth up to 20,000 dirhams ($5,400). The contestant has to lose a minimum 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) to qualify for the contest.

“Participant must have excess weight to reduce and stay away from unhealthy methods to lose weight and should be present on the final day to measure weight,” Dubai Municipality said in a press release.

Health officials in Dubai, the commercial hub of the United Arab Emirates, and in neighboring Gulf nations, are spending millions to control obesity among their citizens.

Oil wealth and high household incomes have led to overeating, high-sugar diets and a heavy reliance on cars for getting around, leading to an explosion of diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses.

Five of the 10 countries where diabetes is most prevalent are in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), an umbrella organization of more than 200 national associations.

Dubai is known for its larger-than-life offers. It has a history of giving away luxury cars and yachts in lucky draws and is home to one the largest gold markets in the region. The emirate even has gold vending machines in shopping malls. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirhams)

Source: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/19/dubai-offers-emirates-top-dieters-5400-in-gold-coins-for-weight-loss/

True Gold taps new sources to raise capital

Mark O’Dea has to be the envy of every of nearly every junior mining CEO in the country.

As the executive chairman of True Gold Mining Inc., Mr. O’Dea has signed off on deals to raise $33.5-million of fresh capital since the start of May. That equates to more than half of True’s $60-million market value.

It is an enormous amount of money for a junior gold miner to raise at this point in time. Juniors are suffering through some of the worst market conditions seen in decades, as risk capital has fled the sector and equity financing opportunities have dried up due to lack of demand. The recent drop in gold prices only made matters worse.

Mr. O’Dea, a well-known mining entrepreneur, said he recognized the equity markets were a non-starter for raising capital. That caused him to take a different approach and look for strategic investors. His success demonstrates that money is available for quality junior companies, but they have to work a little harder for it than they used to.

“We’ve really tried to target a different style of niche investor, and different pools of capital from the traditional resource sector funds which have been really beat up,” the 45-year-old said in an interview.

Many juniors like to talk about how they are courting various “strategic” investors (particularly in Asia) but almost none are able to raise substantial amounts of money that way.

True Gold, however, was able to tap two different sources. Back in May, the Vancouver-based miner raised $10-million through a private placement with Canadian giant Teck Resources Ltd. And on Thursday, the company announced it is receiving a $23.5-million investment from Liberty Metals & Mining Holding LLC, a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Insurance and a very long-term investor in the resource space.

True Gold was helped by the fact that Mr. O’Dea has a strong track record. He was the CEO of Fronteer Gold Inc., which made a discovery in Nevada and was sold to Newmont Mining Corp. for $2.3-billion in 2011. He also has a relationship with Teck that dates back to his days at Fronteer.

But on its own, that would probably not be enough to raise significant funds in this market.

Mr. O’Dea said the key was to match the project he wanted to build with the right kind of long-term investors. He said that Liberty was interested in True Gold’s Karma project in Burkina Faso because it has low capital intensity, with a construction cost of less than $150-million. That is a must in a market where capital is so scarce, and provides a useful lesson for juniors trying to tackle more ambitious projects.

“As the market began to turn, we recognized that projects with low capital costs, that can get into production relatively quickly, and can withstand downward pressure on the gold price are the projects you want to be in,” he said.

Source: http://business.financialpost.com/2013/07/18/true-gold-taps-new-sources-to-raise-capital/