Sunday, March 8, 2009

China Sells Dollars

"China Minmentals Corp. is leading its home country's latest push to secure natural resources abroad, launching a takeover bid for Autralian miner OZ minerals Ltd. ... OZ Minerals--one of the world's largest producers of zinc--has been struggling to refinance US$560 million of loans by a Feb. 27 deadline. ... Chinese companies have seen a buying opportunity. The OZ Minerals offer follows on the heels of Aluminum Corp. of China's US$19.5 billion deal last week to invest in Rio Tinto, a global supplier of iron ore, copper and coal", Rick Carew at the WSJ, 17 February 2009.

"China reached a long-term deal to lend $25 billion to two Russian energy companies in exchange for an expanded supply of Russian oil, highlighting how the world's No. 3 economy is using itas financial muscle to lock up access to natural resources. ... The overseas agreements are fueling concern in Australia, where China has been especially active lately. ... The Chinese companies say their investments are driven by business, not political considerations. ... China Development, a government-controlled lender that has been the major source of financing for China's resource push, declined to comment. ... [Russia's] crude-oil production fell in 2008 for the first time in 10 years. The loan from China Development will allow Rosneft to invest in its relatively undeveloped East Siberian fields and refineries", my emphasis, David Winning, Shai Oster and Alen Wilson at the WSJ, 18 February 2009.

Invest? Or is China "selling" dollars for real assets?

China may have decided not to buy gold with its dollar hoard as politically infeasible, so it is doing the next best thing, buying claims to real assets. Siberia. Interesting.

2 comments:

Prinfaster said...

Currently there are three countries vying for the resources of Siberia: Russia, China and Japaan. This region offers the possibility of the first full scale nuclear war.

Oddly, China and Japan are the most vulnerable. Russia knows that it has the prize of the world with Siberia and the neighboring arctic. I suspect that they are teasing cash and development out of China and Japan to further their interests.

In the end Russia is not about to loosen any control over the region, much like they privatized Gazprom temporarily.

As we head to the land of Mad Max, control over resources and supply become the elements of warfare. Slaves will always be abundant. In WWII Germany had slaves but limited resources. USSR had unlimited slaves and unlimited resources.

Anonymous said...

It seems China and Russia are thinking strategically... and the lazy US is just hacking around with the Federal Reserve steering the ship all over...

If I were China I'd be buying up natural resources too...

Printfaster... very interesting... as usual...