News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Big iron ore miners tighten grip on market; Oil's plunge to hit Santos for $1.6b of impairments in full-year results; and Rio Tinto rewards shareholders, despite profit drop.

Lou Caruana

Big iron ore miners tighten grip on market

The world’s big three iron ore miners appear to be entering the final phase of a fight to increase market share in China as massive expansions drive more high-cost rivals out of business, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The global giants have met stubborn resistance after many big Chinese miners kept producing despite weaker iron ore prices, helping push prices far lower than Rio Tinto , BHP Billiton and Vale envisaged when they began to flood the world with ore two years ago.

Oil's plunge to hit Santos for $1.6B of impairments in full-year results

Santos chief executive David Knox has insisted the oil and gas producer has no need to raise equity despite the plunge crude oil prices forcing a $2.4 billion asset write-down, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The large cuts to the carrying value of Santos's assets across Australia and Asia add to the mounting toll from the sinking oil price across the sector, with Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search already advising of $US600 million of impairments between them.

Rio Tinto rewards shareholders despite profit drop

Rio Tinto has posted its equal-lowest underlying profit in five years, but has kept its promise to “materially increase” shareholder returns by announcing an increased dividend and a round of share buybacks, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Significant falls in the price of iron ore and copper ensured the miner's underlying profit of $US9.3 billion was lower than the $US10.2 billion achieved in 2013, but still higher than many analysts had expected.

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