Asia Seeks Resources Bargains As Prices Slump

Miyoung Kim and Joseph Chaney report in Reuters, via forexpros.com:

A collapse in commodity prices due to the global financial turmoil is a blessing for Asia, whose huge appetite for natural resources has prompted cash-rich firms to go bargain hunting.

Analysts say Asia’s hunger for resource assets, despite the financial crisis, shows firms are prepared to risk further commodity price downside to secure raw material supplies to power economic growth that is still significantly faster than in the United States and Western Europe.

Shares in Australia’s third-largest oil and gas firm Santos Ltd jumped on Monday on a report that China National Petroleum Corp, parent of Asia’s top oil and gas producer PetroChina, may team up with a foreign firm to buy the company.

Read also Terry McCrann’s Time to prepare for Chinese ‘invasion’ on the Herald Sun:

JUST a few months ago it would have taken more than $200 billion to buy Rio Tinto. Now our second biggest resources group – and all its resources – could be picked up for about $40 billion.

Plus of course, the necessary takeover premium. Although I suggest what would now be ‘necessary’ is something less than the incumbent board thought was required from BHP Billition.

Especially if any future buyer was paying cash. Like for instance a buyer with the word ‘China’ in its name.

Now I’m not suggesting that is imminent. Although the Chinese Chinalco company must be seriously considering its options.

December 10, 2008, 1:01 AM
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