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Ask the CEOs: Special Gold Edition

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What are America's corporate leaders saying about the issues of the day? TheStreet's reporters, during the course of their weekly coverage, will pose a thematic question to the business executives they interview.

This week's question: Will gold retain its lofty perch as an asset class?

Goldcorp (GG) CEO Chuck Jeannes: "I do. I think it's been re-emphasized to investors who perhaps forgot over the last few years that gold is a safe haven investment. It is an alternative currency, and it protects wealth in times of financial distress, and that's a lesson that I don't think will be lost anytime soon."

Mark Bristow

Randgold Resources (GOLD) CEO Mark Bristow: "I think real assets are [here] to stay for some time because our politicians have done a damn good job at destroying the value of paper money."

>>Gold Prices Pop; Silver at 31-Year High

International Tower Hill (THM) CEO Jeff Pontius: "Yes, the biggest threat probably to gold is that there won't be enough of it ... the gold market is actually a very small part of the economic picture and when we look at the entire gold market together, a small move in gold could see huge buying demand."

NovaGold (NG) CEO Rick Van Nieuwenhuys: "Absolutely I think it's ... still very underowned by the average person ... wealthy individuals and fund managers are starting to migrate to it. We see that at this conference, at BMO. There're a lot of new faces who, for the first time have said, 'Geez, maybe I should own some gold.' I think this is just beginning, the interest in gold, and I think it is here for some time yet."

Coeur d'Alene Mines (CDE) CFO Mitch Krebs: "I do. Ever since those ETFs came into existence in 2005, we've seen silver and gold become a more permanent part of everyone's portfolio whether it's pension funds, retail, or institutions. I think that's something that, especially with continued turmoil in the Middle East, every day there's something new; it seems like that makes the case even stronger for why silver and gold really belong in, at least as a part in, everyone's portfolio.

Gold Fields (GFI) CEO Nick Holland: "Absolutely, gold has certainly regained its status as a safe haven investment for funds. Certainly at this conference ... we're seeing probably about 50% of investors are new investors who want to get into the gold space and want to learn about the sector and want to work out how best they can diversify their investments into gold. Ten years ago, you didn't see that."

Harmony Gold (HMY) CEO Graham Briggs: "It always does. It's a great commodity, and it's a currency. It has really proved itself as a currency and a good investment, and people continue to buy gold."

Sean Boyd, Agnico-Eagle CEO

Agnico-Eagle (AEM) CEO Sean Boyd: "I think it will because it's still not on a lot of radar screens, and people have, I think, a mistaken view that if they like gold they have to hate everything else, that's certainly not the case now. I think gold is increasingly becoming looked at as a more monetary asset and that's why there are more investors here. They are trying to [find] the companies, the equities and how they get leverage than just an ETF, because they don't have to come to the conference to buy the ETF, so they are obviously here at the conference to see how they can get more leverage in the gold space."

Mark Cutifani, CEO AngloGold Ashanti

AngloGold Ashanti (AU) CEO Mark Cutifani: "Absolutely, I think most portfolio managers made a very serious mistake in the last few years in excluding gold in their portfolio. ... I think with China, India, the way the world looks at gold, the way it's performed through the recent crisis that you really can't afford to not have gold in your portfolio."

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