almost 2 years ago • 3 mins
Gold miner Gold Fields announced on Tuesday that it’s agreed to buy Canadian rival Yamana Gold.
What does this mean?
Gold Fields has shifted focus away from its home turf of South Africa in the last few years, where it’s been wrestling with power cuts, higher costs, and the world’s deepest deposits. This latest deal, then, should help it expand into “mining-friendly” countries like Canada, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, and allow it to grow long term even as its existing production drops off. It’ll also turn the miner into a powerhouse: the combined companies will boast an annual gold production of around 3.4 million ounces, overtaking South African rival AngloGold Ashanti to become the world’s fourth-biggest gold miner. Gold Fields is offering Yamana’s shareholders 0.6 of its own shares for each Yamana share, which values the company at $6.7 billion – around 34% more than Yamana was worth before the deal was announced.
Why should I care?
The bigger picture: Analysts will be pleased.
This deal is just the latest in the industry after Newcrest’s $3 billion acquisition of Pretium Resources and Agnico Eagle’s $11 billion merger with Kirkland Lake late last year. It’s about time too: analysts think there are too many gold miners, and that the industry – notorious for spending too much on projects and execs – is overburdened with costs. Gold Fields’ deal should help put their minds at rest: the company’s estimating that it’ll save $40 million a year when it teams up with Yamana.
Zooming out: No one likes a gold digger.
Investors have been shunning gold miners in the last year, with an index tracking some of the world’s biggest down 18% versus the US stock market’s 1%. That’s partly because the gold price – which usually comes into its own during times of economic uncertainty – has been under pressure: rising interest rates have opened up opportunities elsewhere, while a stronger US dollar has made the dollar-denominated metal more expensive to international buyers.
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The major UK stock market index is set to confirm this week which stocks it’ll be booting out and which it’ll be adding to its roster.
What does this mean?
Fortune is a fickle beast, which is why the FTSE 100 – comprising the 100 biggest UK listed companies – is regularly reshuffled to swap companies whose market values have risen with those whose have dropped. And while nothing is set in stone until it’s officially announced, there are some notable switcheroos expected here: ITV – one of the country’s biggest broadcasters – and Royal Mail – one of the country’s biggest delivery services – are likely to get the chop. They’ve seen their stocks fall around 40% this year, as ad spending and online deliveries respectively have dropped off. Oil driller Harbour Energy will probably join them, having seen its stock plunge after the UK government announced a 25% tax on energy companies’ profits last week.
Why should I care?
For you personally: Be proactive.
Those unlucky companies’ spots are set to be taken by another energy company Centrica, student housing firm Unite Group, and technology investor F&C Investment Trust – all of whose stocks should get an extra boost when they arrive onto the index. See, billions are invested into funds that passively track indexes like the FTSE, and those funds are forced to invest in any new stock added to the index. So if you can get ahead of the game, you could benefit as they buy in.
The bigger picture: London’s burning.
If the names mentioned above didn’t give it away, the FTSE isn’t exactly brimming with innovative companies right now. But the UK is trying to change that, with regulators setting out plans last week to simplify the listing process in hopes of getting more startups to list in London. Needs must: new stock market listings in London are on track for their worst first half of the year since 2009.
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