Rio Tinto/BHP Billiton at parity

Yep, the share prices of the two mining giants have crossed. After suffering another sickening fall on Thursday, Rio shares (down 10 per cent) are now trading at £10.40, about 4p lower than BHP’s.

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This is seriously embarrassing for Rio. After all, BHP’s abandoned bid was pitched at a ratio of 3.4:1.

Of course, the reason Rio is being dragged lower is debt. And Rio has a lot of it – $40bn to be precise, against a market value of $27bn.

The company says it will be able to meet its debt repayments ($8.9bn is due next September) and does not need a rights issue.

But the market doesn’t believe Rio, and the result is a sinking share price.

Since BHP walked away last week, Rio shares have fallen 58 per cent.

Related links:
No respite for Rio – FT Alphaville

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