Monday, July 20, 2009


The Rio Tinto debacle

Shares of Australian mining conglomerate Rio Tinto (RTP) sank on July 8th following the news of the arrest of their employee Stern Hu for bribery and espionage by Chinese authorities. Hu is an Australian national of Chinese ancestry. Australian blogger and economist angel80 adeptly chronicles an intricate merger war between Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton (BHP), and Chinalco (ACH) which led up to Hu's arrest. Stock prices for BHP Billiton and Chinalco do not appear to have been affected by the Rio Tinto debacle, at least on the boards in London or New York. The above chart compares RTP against the PHLX index for gold and silver (^XAU) for the past month.

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