Nippon Steel and Sumimoto Metal Corp Acquires Rival Nisshin Steel

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A major steel merger happened in Japan over the weekend and, despite assurances from Russia’s oil minister, details on a global oil production slowdown are still not forthcoming.

Nippon Steel Acquires Nisshin Steel

Japan’s top steelmaker, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., unveiled a plan on Monday to take control of fourth-ranked rival Nisshin Steel and trim some of their combined steel output in the face of a global supply glut. A deal would be the latest in a series of consolidations and plant closures as producers ace a slump in prices due to falling demand and competition from export of overproduced Chinese steel.

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Nippon Steel, which already holds 8.3% of Nisshin, said the two firms struck a memorandum of understanding on Monday to turn Nisshin into a subsidiary. Nippon Steel said it is considering extending its stake to 51% to 66%.

No Details on Oil Production Cutbacks

Talk of a deal among major oil exporters to cut production has lifted oil prices back to around $35 a barrel in recent days. Still, it remains far from clear whether a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers, mentioned by Russia’s energy minister, is possible.

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With Iran and Iraq determined to boost output, the pressure to cut production has only intensified.

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