Miners Face Slow Asset Sales as Buyers Seek Bargains, PwC Says
Comment of the Day

June 05 2013

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Miners Face Slow Asset Sales as Buyers Seek Bargains, PwC Says

This article by David Stringer for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section
Rio Tinto Group., the world's second-largest miner, and its peers face longer negotiations over about $48 billion of asset sales as buyers seek bargains amid weak commodity prices, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said. There are few takers for mines and resources on offer as companies trim spending because of lower prices and rising costs, said Jock O'Callaghan, the energy, utilities and mining leader for PwC Australia. The size of mining assets for sale is almost double last year's $23 billion of completed and pending deals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “In these conditions, the deal cycle is much longer,” O'Callaghan said yesterday in an interview. “Many have said they are not going to divest unless it's divesting at value.”

Eoin Treacy's view Over the last couple of years mining shares have come under pressure as industrial metal prices fell towards the marginal cost of production. Industrial prices generally are rallying from depressed levels but remain in overall base formations. When they eventually complete these congestion areas sentiment towards the sector is likely to improve, not least among those who are in the market for resource assets. In the meantime, patient investors such as sovereign wealth funds have the opportunity to pick up attractive resources at comparatively low prices.

Rio Tinto continues to test the lower side of its 18-month range and will need to hold an upward dynamic beyond a few days to confirm more than temporary support in this area.

BHP Billiton encountered resistance in the region of 2000p three weeks ago and pulled back sharply today on news of a fine incurred by one of its Peruvian operations. It will need to find support above the 1700p area if the two-year range is to be sustained.

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