Rio Tinto refusing to bow to growing pressure to ditch its London listing and shift quote solely to Australia
Rio Tinto is refusing to bow to growing pressure to ditch its London listing and shift its quote solely to Australia.
The mining giant is a dual-listed company – two separate firms that operate as a single business and is quoted on two stock exchanges. Its shares are traded in Sydney and London, where it is a member of the prestigious FTSE100 index.
If Rio scrapped its London quote it would deal a devastating blow to the LSE, which is renowned as a home for miners.
Digging deep: If Rio scrapped its London quote it would deal a devastating blow to the LSE, which is renowned as a home for miners
City sources told the Mail that Rio has faced calls to abandon London after it blew up two 46,000-year-old Aboriginal caves in Western Australia last year to expand an iron ore mine.
The tragedy sparked a board clear-out, which included then-chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques, and a parliamentary inquiry. And it led campaigners, politicians, local communities and investors to urge Rio to put more of an emphasis on Australia, where it conducts a huge amount of its mining operations. They claimed the company was out of touch with the native peoples living on its most lucrative land.
Some have pressured the company to simplify its structure and slim it down to one corporation based in Australia as it seeks to rebuild its reputation.
But bosses are not budging and cite the fact that 76 per cent of its investors hold shares in the London-listed firm, compared with 24 per cent in the Australian entity.
A spokesman for Rio said: ‘We remain very comfortable with our dual-listed company structure.’
But the question could be raised again if Rio hires an Australian to replace chairman Simon Thompson, who quits at next year’s annual meeting.
Rio bosses also insist the company is different from its rival, BHP, which announced last month it was scrapping its dual structure in the wake of selling its oil and gas business.
The LSE is still smarting from the move – which will knock out one of the largest companies on the index.
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