Rio Tinto launches $3bn bond buyback as commodities brighten

Jessica Morris
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Rio Tinto bought $1.5bn of its 2017 and 2018 notes in April (Source: Getty)

Rio Tinto said today that it has launched a multi-billion bond buyback programme, as formerly tarnished metals price begin to shine one more.

The firm intends to purchase up to $3bn of its 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022 US dollar-denominated notes. It's trying to whittle down its debt pile, having bought $1.5bn of its 2017 and 2018 notes in April.

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The miner's shares rose 0.4 per cent to 2,022.8p per share this afternoon, having jumped as high as 2,075 earlier in the day.

While sporadic rallies which characterised commodities at the beginning of this year fizzled out last month, the asset class has made gains recently. Oil rose to a fresh 2016 high earlier today, while copper, gold and zinc hit multi-week highs yesterday.

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This sent London’s mining index 6.5 per cent higher, with miners Glencore, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta helping the FTSE 100 to close up one per cent.

PwC said yesterday that the world's leading mining companies are digging in for a long road to recovery. While encouraged by some recoveries in market capitalisations and commodity prices, it warned of high volatility.

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