UPDATE 1-Rio Tinto decides to hang on to diamonds business
Global miner Rio Tinto Ltd has scrapped the planned sale of its diamonds business, valued in its books at $1.3 billion, amid a slide in global financial markets and a tough environment for commodity asset sales.
The decision announced on Monday marks the first of a string of planned asset sales that the world no.3 miner may have to scrap in face of cautious bidders.
Rio has been looking to sell iron ore, copper, coal and aluminium assets to pare $19 billion in net debt, cut costs, and beef up returns to shareholders, but has said all along it was not holding a fire sale.
"We have valuable, high-quality diamonds businesses that are well positioned to capitalise on the positive market outlook," Rio Tinto Diamonds & Minerals chief executive Alan Davies said in a statement on Monday