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ArcelorMittal share issue to counter falling profits from cheap Chinese steel


ArcelorMittal share issue to counter falling profits from cheap Chinese steel


ArcelorMittal has said it will sell $3 billion (2.7 billion euros worth) of new shares to help reduce debt and cut costs.

The world’s largest steelmaker said it was having to do that because of a plunge in steel prices which it blamed on a surge in cheap exports from China.

The news pushed its share price down further on Friday. It closed 5.5 percent lower. The stock has dropped over 60 percent in the past 12 months.

The company, which is twice the size of its nearest rival, reported that its core profit dropped by 32 percent last year to $5.2 billion (4.6 billion euros) and warned it sees little improvement in overall global demand for steel this year.

The net loss for 2015 was $7.95 billion (7.09 billion euros) including $4.8 billion (4.28 billion euros) in write-downs

Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal said that 2015 had been very difficult for steelmakers and miners, even with some rises in demand in Europe and the United States where the company does the bulk of its business, due to Chinese exports depressing prices.

Steel prices have slid to 12-year lows and global producers appear set for another year of pain even as prices start to stabilise due to production cuts.

China, which makes half the world’s steel, exported a record 112 million tonnes of steel last year, equivalent to total North American output, upsetting trade partners who argue it is dumping on world markets.

It was revealed on Friday that the EU’s top trade official has called on her Chinese counterpart to take measures to curb the overcapacity in China’s steel industry and warned it would open three new anti-dumping investigations this month on steel imports from China.

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