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Aquarius Platinum falls on bond issue

AQUARIUS Platinum, the fourth largest producer of the metal, launched a $250m (&pound;150m) convertible bond issue yesterday.<br /><br />The Bermuda-based company said the unsubordinated, unsecured convertible bonds are due in 2015.<br /><br />The proceeds will be used to redeem 650m-rand (&pound;52.5m) of convertible bonds and build a chromite recovery plant at its Everest mine, in South Africa.<br /><br />Shares in the miner fell six per cent yesterday &ndash; with a dip of 21.1p to 342.7p &ndash; after investors took profits following the group&rsquo;s recent share rally. <br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a combination of people taking profits and not seeing this as a prudent refinancing but seeing this as a new issue of equity which would lead to dilution,&rdquo; said Dominic O&rsquo;Kane, analyst at Liberum Capital. &ldquo;I think there has been a bit of an overreaction.&rdquo;<br /><br />Aquarius, which operates in South Africa and Zimbabwe, lost $45.7m (&pound;27.6m) in the year ended June 30 following a slump in platinum prices and a surge in the rand. <br /><br />Production at Everest was suspended in December due to subsidence. Last week, the company said the mine will reopen in 2010.<br />