Acquisitions by China’s gold mining companies reached a record this year as the metal’s steepest quarterly drop in more than nine decades slashes mine values and sidelines Western rivals laden with debt.
Takeovers and asset purchases by producers based in China and Hong Kong rose to record $2.24 billion this year, beating last year’s record $1.96 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Zijin Mining Group Co., the world’s seventh-largest gold company by market value, and Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. are among companies looking to strike after the share prices of targets fell an average 53 percent since bullion peaked in 2011.
“The gold declines are good for key Chinese producers to buy overseas assets,” Chen He, head of overseas resources development at Zhaojin Mining, China’s fourth-largest producer, with a $2.3 billion market value, said in an interview. “This year our main task is to closely watch potential targets as prices in 2014 are forecast to be lower.”
Global producers led by Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX), the world’s second-biggest by value, were warned by investors against deals after taking $26 billion in writedowns since July 16 following a spree that saw $162 billion spent on acquisitions during a decade-long price boom.
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