News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Glencore seen preparing for tilt at Rio Tinto; LGS to quit $25m stake in coal industry; and ANU divestment list sparks outrage.

Lou Caruana

Glencore seen preparing for tilt at Rio Tinto

Glencore is laying the groundwork for a potential merger with Rio Tinto Group in the next year that would create the world’s largest mining company, worth about $US160 billion, according to people familiar with the situation, according to the Australian Financial Review.

As a preliminary step, Glencore has reached out to Aluminum Corporation of China, the Chinese state-backed company that is Rio’s largest shareholder, to gauge its interest in a potential deal, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

The discussions with the company, which is known as Chinalco and controls about 9.8% of Rio, took place in recent weeks, one of them said.

LGS to quit $25m stake in coal industry

The $8 billion Local Government Super fund will no longer invest in coal companies but will buy uranium stocks, a bet on the sharemarket impact of global action by governments to combat climate change, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The fund, which invests the retirement savings of 90,000 current and former NSW council employees, plans to sell $25 million of shares in companies that generate more than a third of their revenue from coal mining or coal-fired electricity generation.

Some $15 million in AGL Energy and Whitehaven Coal shares will be sold under the new policy.

ANU divestment list sparks outrage

Resources companies blacklisted by Australian National University are angered by the move, which goes far beyond big fossil fuel producers to miners of nickel, gold, copper and other materials used every day by millions of Australians, according to the Australian Financial Review.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill slammed the university for joining the boycott movement.

“It is a very strange assessment of social responsibility,” he said.