Hang Seng Index

Chinalco Mining to slash share offering

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 October, 2012, 3:03am


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Chinalco Mining, a unit of Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco), may slash its up to US$1 billion initial public offering in Hong Kong by more than half as it faces lacklustre demand for new shares amid the global downturn.

Chinalco Mining - the nation's largest smelter of aluminium - was close to launching a global share offering to raise between US$800 million and US$1 billion in May.

With investor sentiment souring rapidly and the Hang Seng Index tumbling 14 per cent between early May and early June, the offering was shelved.

The index has recouped nearly all the losses since then, but investors remain wary of the recovery's sustainability and are cautious of new listings.

The company, whose primary asset is the new Toromocho copper project in Peru in South America, was now aiming to raise about US$400 million, a person familiar with the situation said.

Since the company will need to submit updated financial information to Hong Kong's stock exchange, the share offering and listing may not take place until early next year, although the timing remained fluid, the person said.

BNP Paribas, China International Capital Corp and Morgan Stanley are the planned arrangers of the float.

Chinalco paid US$860 million in 2008 for Peru Copper, which operates the Toromocho project. The company plans to invest US$2.2 billion to bring the mine - 142 kilometres east of Lima - to production by the end of next year.

Toromocho, about 4,800 metres above sea level, has reserves of about 12 million tonnes, or about 19 per cent of China's domestic copper reserve. It is expected to have a 35-year life.