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CORUS TO LAY OFF 3500 – BRITAIN TO TAKE BRUNT OF JOB CUTS BY STEELMAKER CORUS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 26, 2009

January 26, 2009

The Australian – With Agence France-Presse and Dow Jones Newswires

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, RECESSION, RESTRUCTURING OF PRIVATE COMPANIES, STEEL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, UNEMPLOYMENT, UNITED KINGDOM | 1 Comment »

HEDGE FUND STEEL PARTNERS SUED FOR FRAUD-DOCUMENTS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 15, 2009

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss – Reuters

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FRAUD, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, METALS INDUSTRY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STEEL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009 | Leave a Comment »

GOLDEN FDI FLOWS AMID THE GLOOM – VIETNAM’S AUTHORITIES ARE UPBEAT ABOUT THE NATION’S GROWING FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT CAPITAL ATTRACTIVENESS IN A TOUGH 2009 DESPITE THE GLOBAL TURMOIL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 30, 2008

29-12-2008

by Hoang Mai – Vietnam Investment Review

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE VIETNAM INVESTMENT REVIEW’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE VIETNAM INVESTMENT REVIEW’

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CEMENT, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, JAPAN, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, PETROL, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, STEEL, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, VIETNAM, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

GERDAU PAGA CERCA DE 200 MILHÕES DE EUROS E AMPLIA FATIA NA SIDENOR (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

19/12/2008 20:11

Valor Online

PUBLISHED BY ‘VALOR ECONÔMICO’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘VALOR ECONÔMICO’ (Brazil)

Posted in A BOLSA DE VALORES, BRASIL, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EXPANSÃO ECONÔMICA, EXPANSÃO INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FLUXO DE CAPITAIS, FUSÕES E/OU INCORPORAÇÕES EMPRESARIAIS, INDÚSTRIA DA CONSTRUÇÃO CIVIL, INDÚSTRIA METALÚRGICA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, RECESSION, STEEL, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

O que vale e o que não Vale! (Brazil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 21, 2008

Edição no 270 19 a 25 de dezembro de 2008

por Valter Pomar – Secretário de Relações Internacionais do PT

PUBLISHED BY ‘VISÃO OESTE’ (Brazil)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘VISÃO OESTE’ (Brazil)

Posted in AS INDÚSTRIAS DE MINERAÇÃO, AS RELAÇÕES DE TRABALHO E EMPREGO, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, CIDADES, COMBATE À DESIGUALDADE E À EXCLUSÃO - BRASIL, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIA - BRASIL, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDÚSTRIA METALÚRGICA, INDÚSTRIAS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, O MERCADO DE TRABALHO - BRASIL, O MUNDO DO TRABALHO - BRASIL, OS TRABALHADORES, PARTIDO DOS TRABALHADORES (PT), RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SINDICATOS DAS CATEGORIAS PROFISSIONAIS, STEEL, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

SEVEN INVESTORS SUBMIT OFFERS FOR RUNNING KREMIKOVTZI (Bulgaria)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 11, 2008

11 December 2008, Thursday

PUBLISHED BY ‘BULGARIAN BUSINESS – NOVINITE.COM’

Bulgaria’s Economy Ministry has received seven offers with bids for the purchase or the operation of the troubled Bulgaria's Economy Ministry has received seven offers for Kremikovtzi by Bulgarian and foreign companies - Photo by Yuliana Nikolova - Sofia Photo Agencysteel-maker Kremikovtzi, the Trud Daily reported Thursday.

The paper points out that the most serious bidder is the Ukrainian company Smart Group which offers an emergency plan for saving the factory, and a longer-term recovery program by restructuring and acquisition of new assets. It is expected to present its demands about Bulgarian state guarantees for Kremikovtzi within several days.

The Czech company ML Moran offers to finance Kremikovtzi enabling the plant to buy raw materials, and manufacture and sell its production. The bulk of the revenue, however, would go to the creditor so the main advantage of this plan would be to keep the factory running.

Each of two other foreign companies – the Russian Prominvest, and an unnamed Italian company – are offering to provide raw materials, and working capital for Kremikovtzi in exchange for guarantees by the Bulgarian state.

The former owner of the steel mill Valentin Zahariev, who sold the plant to the Indian tycoon Pramod Mittal in 2005, has offered to run the plant after setting up a new firm for the purpose. In the event of liquidation of the factory, however, he is asking to be allowed to buy out the assets on sale.

The Bulgarian metal wastes trader Econmetal Engineering, whose facilities are located nearby Kremikovtzi, is offering to provide 60.000 tons of raw materials for the steel-maker in exchange for being allowed to realize the manufactured products on the market after that.

A group of bond holders is offering the factory a credit of EUR 345 M in exchange for Bulgarian state securities with a redemption date in 2013.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BULGARIAN BUSINESS – NOVINITE.COM’

Posted in BULGARIA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRON ORE, ITALY, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, RECYCLING INDUSTRIES, RUSSIA, STEEL, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UKRAINE | Leave a Comment »

CORUS SEEKS UK’S FINANCIAL AID

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 10, 2008

10 Dec 2008, 01:29 hrs IST

AGENCIES

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES OF INDIA’

NEW DELHI: Tata Group-owned steel maker Corus on Tuesday said it is in talks with the British government to part-fund a scheme to compensate workers affected by the reduction of working hours at its UK premises.

“Barring the UK, across Europe, governments have programmes which take care of employment costs related to people affected by work-reduction schemes. We are in talks with the British government to extend a similar benefit,” Corus spokesperson Bob Jones said.

Most European countries have schemes under which governments pay up to 70% of the basic salary of affected employees. Pointing out that the financial aid cannot be estimated now, Jones maintained that the company is yet to make a formal proposal in this regard.

Last week, Corus, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Steel, had applied to the Netherlands government to part-fund a similar scheme envisaging reduction by 4,600 working hours (equivalent of 1,100 fulltime jobs).

The Tatas had recently sought massive financial aid from the UK government for its iconic brands Jaguar and Land Rover. Steel makers worldwide are trimming production and undertaking cost-cutting in the wake of slackening demand.

In November, Corus said it would slash 400 jobs apart from announcing a 30% cut in output. The European steel maker had also said that it would cut 146 jobs at a tube division. In Europe, the company has total 42,000 employees.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES OF INDIA’ (UK)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, STEEL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, UNITED KINGDOM | Leave a Comment »

BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES – Not a pretty site – Project reviews in the mining sector have raised uncertainty about growth and helped undermine building and construction share prices (South Africa)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 4, 2008

28 November 2008

by Andrew McNulty

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MAIL’ (South Africa)

A few months ago, building & construction shares were priced at a large premium to the local stock market. After steep falls in recent weeks, that has changed markedly.

Murray & Roberts (M&R) and Aveng, the two biggest companies in the sector, have fallen by almost 60% in less than three months. They now trade on historical p:e ratios of less than eight, in line with – or below – the market average.

This may seem anomalous, as infrastructure and related investment is expected to be the healthiest area of the economy over the next year. Several companies have reported large order books and expressed confidence that the work will go ahead.

But the shares reflect dwindling investor confidence in the sector and increased uncertainty about the earnings outlook beyond next year.

WHAT IT MEANS
Earnings and order books remain strong

Uncertainty about the outlook has increased

The price weakness is linked partly to weakness in specific areas. After the collapse in commodity prices, mining companies are reviewing capital projects and some have announced project deferrals. The steel sector is cutting production and curbing prices. And activity in the residential sector is flat or declining.

These changes will directly affect some companies’ earnings. At Aveng’s AGM on October 24, chairman Angus Band said a lower steel price and lower vehicle sales will be bad for the group’s manufacturing and processing businesses, which include Trident Steel, a trading company.

However, Band also highlighted a broader change. His annual review, written in July, said the infrastructure landscape remained “very positive”, with opportunities extending well beyond 2010, especially in the power, roads and transport environment, while commodity prices were expected to fuel demand for infrastructure projects for mining houses.

At the AGM, Band said the global investment climate had since changed significantly because of the liquidity squeeze and economic slowdown.

He added that Aveng’s customers will “inevitably find it more difficult and more expensive” to fund projects and that’s likely to affect the group’s order books in the medium term.

Aveng’s share has fallen 33% since Band made that statement. For many investors, it confirms a more uncertain and possibly bearish outlook for a sector with a cyclical history.

“Nasty surprises are the norm in the international building & construction sector,” says independent analyst Mark Ingham, who has specialised in the sector for more than a decade. “A few companies, such as WBHO, have been consistent, but people did get carried away with the ‘dotcon’ theme.”

Ingham cites two areas of uncertainty. One is order books, and whether these companies will continue to secure new work in the medium term to replace existing projects. The other is margins, which are at historically high levels but may fall as competition increases.

“I’ve felt for a while that margins are topping out,” Ingham adds. “In the commercial & residential sector, margins are slipping as more firms are competing for work again. The smaller contractors are already under strain.”

Coronation Fund Managers analyst Quintin Ivan says construction has been one of the most cyclical sectors on the market, and there’s little reason to think that has changed. “They don’t have annuity income streams. It’s feast or famine,” he says.

Ivan adds order books have grown to high levels, which could make it difficult for these companies to maintain growth in a slowing economy.

Investec Asset Management portfolio manager Chris Freund says the recent price declines in the sector mostly reflect selling by foreign investors and are part of a global pattern.

A year ago, rising infrastructure spending in emerging markets was being cited as a reason to buy stocks that benefit directly. Slowing global growth, withdrawal of capital from emerging markets and currency weakness are now seen as reasons to question whether spending will continue as planned.

The selling reflects a broad approach but the prospects – and uncertainties – vary between companies.

In a trading statement this week, M&R says it maintains the market guidance published earlier for the year to June 2009, but cautions shareholders to be prudent with this as “the potential impact of current market volatility may manifest itself on the construction sector and group performance in the future”.

It says cash flow constraints in a few clients has resulted in suspension or delay of projects in each of the group’s markets. It adds its project order book provides a solid performance foundation for the period up to 2012 and beyond.

This includes public works and other strategic projects – local and international – that are likely to continue and will provide stability through the “difficult times” ahead.

Cautious investors say the large SA groups’ international activities are in areas that could become more competitive. Aveng and M&R have operations in Australia; M&R and Group Five have important contracts in the Middle East. Lower prices for oil and mining products could lead to less spending on infrastructure in these regions.

However, offshore operations have helped to diversify these groups’ order books and may help mitigate weakness in domestic markets.

For now, public sector spending in SA is expected mostly to go ahead as planned. Energy and transport remain key areas. Ingham says Basil Read is well placed to benefit from an expected upturn in local roadbuilding. Raubex could also do well in this sector.

Cement & and lime producer PPC’s cement volumes were flat in the year to September. CE John Gomersall says margins are under pressure because of surging costs such as energy and transport, and the group may add an energy surcharge to its prices.

However, Gomersall says the effect on the SA economy from global market volatility is likely to be less in the infrastructure sector than in the formal residential sector. He adds that cement demand for rural and affordable housing is expected to continue, as government plans to eliminate the backlog of almost 3m houses by 2014.

Freund believes shares in the sector have been oversold. They could rise sharply when private-sector projects have resumed and there is evidence that order books are growing again. The sector would also benefit from an upturn in commodity prices.

But the shares are unlikely to recover much while the uncertainty about the growth outlook continues.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE FINANCIAL MAIL’ (South Africa)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CEMENT, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, MINING INDUSTRIES, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, RECESSION, SOUTH AFRICA, STEEL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS | Leave a Comment »

STEEL SHEETS TO COST MORE EARLY NEXT YEAR

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 22, 2008

Vol. XXII, No. 85-A – Saturday, November 22, 2008

MANILA, PHILIPPINES

PRICES OF steel sheets sold locally may increase next year, as suppliers of raw steel abroad are STEEL SHEETScutting back on production, industry leaders said yesterday.

Foreign suppliers of cold-rolled coils, the main material used in producing galvanized iron (GI) sheets, are reducing production in response to a slump in global demand, Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) President Jesus L. Arranza said in a statement.

Citing industry data, Mr. Arranza said that foreign steel giants Tata Corus Steel, Baosteel, Nippon Steel Corp., and JFE Steel have reported plans to cut back on output by as much as 20% early next year.

Filipino Galvanizers Institute President Salvio D. Perez, also general manager of Puyat Steel Corp., confirmed this scenario. “We import [cold-rolled coils] from Korea, Taiwan and China. Yes, they’re cutting on production already,” Mr. Perez said in a telephone interview yesterday.

This development will affect local production, as foreign suppliers account for 92% of cold-rolled coils used here, Mr. Arranza said.

As a result, prices of GI sheets are likely to rise in 2009, Mr. Perez said, declining to elaborate. “If there is a tightness in supply [in raw materials], naturally there will be a price increase. But I am not in a position to say by how much,” Mr. Perez said.

An 0.4mm GI sheet spanning eight feet now costs around P384, Mr. Perez said.

Jessica Anne D. Hermosa

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS WORLD’ (Philippines)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, STEEL | Leave a Comment »

TATA STEEL EXPANSION PLAN ON FULL SWING; NOT TO CUT PRODUCTION (India)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

13 Nov, 2008, 2052 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: Country’s largest private sector steel producer Tata Steel today said its expansion plan is TATA GROUP, INDIA - DELHI - MUMBAIgoing on full swing and has no plan to scale down production despite softening of commodity prices across the world.

“Tata Steel expansion going on in full swing. There is no plan to cut down production,” Tata Sons Director J J Irani said here.

“We are in for difficult period ongoing projects would come. Money should not be a problem,” he said. However, he added, “Ratan Tata has sent a general message that we have to be careful in the present scenario”.

The leader of the over 62-billion dollar group has asked his top honchos to focus on conserving cash and put off expansion through inorganic route unless the acquisitions were strategic in nature.

Recently, the steel producer announced setting up of a new blast furnace at its Jamshedpur unit as part of the Rs 14,000-crore brownfield expansion to augment its production capacity to 10 million tonne in over two years.

The ‘I-blast furnace’, which would have a capacity to make 3.05 million tonne of hot metal per annum, is likely to be commissioned by November 2010.

In addition to increasing the capacity of its existing unit, the steel major is in process of setting up greenfield projects in Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

While in Jharkhand it proposes to invest about Rs 42,000 crore for a 12 million tonne integrated steel plant, in Orissa it intends to pump in nearly Rs 22,000 crore for a 6 million tonne unit.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ECONOMIC TIMES’ (India)

Posted in AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRON ORE, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, STEEL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

STEEL PRODUCTION HALTED AT ARCELORMITTAL PLANT IN CLEVELAND (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 2, 2008

2 Nov 2008, 1113 hrs IST, AP

CLEVELAND: Steelmaking is on hold at the ArcelorMittal plant in Cleveland due to a drop in business.

Both blast furnaces were idled this week, and the company plans to offer voluntary layoffs with partial pay starting next week. About 1,450 union members work at the plant.

Mark Granakis, president of the United Steelworkers local in Cleveland, says there could be as many as 400 job reductions.

ArcelorMittal spokeswoman Katie Patterson says updated information could come on Wednesday when the company announces third quarter earnings.

Jobs for those who remain at the plant will include maintenance and completing work on existing inventory. The hot strip part of the mill, where slab is turned into coil, continues to operate.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE TIMES OF INDIA’

Posted in COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, METALS, METALS INDUSTRY, STEEL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »