News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Rio Tinto to favour buybacks to repel Glasenberg; receivers appointed to Pluton’s partner Wise; and BHP uses loophole to export US petroleum.

Lou Caruana

Rio Tinto to favour buybacks to repel Glasenberg

Rio Tinto is under pressure to deliver on the chief executive officer’s promise to become a “cash machine” for investors as it justifies snubbing a merger approach from Ivan Glasenberg’s Glencore, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

With Glencore effectively barred from making a renewed bid until April, Rio has a window to woo shareholders through stock buybacks and selling non-core assets. In August, CEO Sam Walsh said his $US3.2 billion ($3.65 billion) cost-cutting drive increases the options for distributing excess capital.

Receivers appointed to Pluton’s partner Wise

Receivers have been appointed to Pluton Resources’ joint venture partner, Wise Energy Group, after the company followed through on its threat of terminating the embattled miner’s management of the joint Cockatoo Island iron ore project, according to the Australian Financial Review.

In a constantly evolving battle between Pluton and Wise, KordaMentha was appointed as receivers and managers by Pluton’s major shareholder and senior secured creditor General Nice Recursos on Tuesday to recoup outstanding debt in relation to the joint venture.

KordaMentha’s Cliff Rocke said the appointment of receivers and managers to Pluton earlier this week was the default trigger which enabled General Nice Recursos to act on the security over Wise’s interest in the joint venture.

BHP uses loophole to export US petroleum

BHP Billiton has quietly started exporting oil products from North America after finding an apparent loophole in laws that prevent most petroleum exports from the US, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

In moves that put the Australian company at the forefront of a new era of energy exports from the US, BHP confirmed that it had made arrangements to begin exporting condensate from the Gulf of Mexico.

“We plan to export processed condensate that has been fractionated in distillation towers at our Eagle Ford operations in south Texas,” the company said on Wednesday.