BHP Pushing Ahead With Demerger, Still Trying to Offload Nickel West

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BHP Billiton is heading towards a spin-off of billions of dollars in mining assets after it said a demerger was its preferred option for a radical corporate restructuring, the Financial Times reported.

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The Anglo-Australian miner is saddled with a swath of subscale businesses that it wants to offload, after deciding to focus on its largest and most productive assets.

A decision on a demerger, which would be likely to see BHP shareholders handed shares in a new listed vehicle, could be made as soon as next week when the miner’s board meets, the group said on Friday. BHP is due to report annual results next week.

Many of the assets that BHP would spin off are those it acquired when it merged with London-listed Billiton more than a decade ago – a deal that heralded a wave of subsequent mergers and takeovers. BHP has yet to find a buyer for Nickel West in Australia, one of its businesses that is considered “non-core.”

On Thursday, August 14, the day’s biggest mover was the spot price of nickel, which saw a 1.5 percent decline on the LME to $18,570 per metric ton. The nickel 3-month price saw a 1.5 percent decline on the LME to $18,675 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian nickel declined 1.3 percent to INR 1,144 ($18.73) per kilogram.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat at CNY 8,300 ($1,348) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-moly held flat at CNY 145,000 ($23,554) per metric ton.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge saw little movement at $1.28 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 26,000 ($4,224) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 16,400 ($2,664) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 16,100 ($2,615) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap continues hovering around CNY 16,400 ($2,664) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

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