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Arcelor Mittal executive to meet head of South Korean steelmaker Posco

Arcelor Mittal executive to meet head of South Korean steelmaker Posco

An executive of Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steelmaker, plans to hold talks with the head of South Korea's Posco this week in Seoul about possible future cooperation, a Posco spokeswoman said Monday.
Roland Junck, a top executive of Arcelor Mittal, will meet Posco's chief executive officer Lee Ku-taek on Friday, said spokeswoman Ko Min-jin.
"They are going to have a general discussion about which areas they can cooperate in the future," Ko said of the meeting.
But possible mergers and acquisitions won't be on the agenda. "I can clearly say that there is not going to be any discussion on that topic at all," she said.
Junck is currently a member of Arcelor Mittal's management board, Ko said, though formerly served as the company's chief executive.
Pohang, South Korea-based Posco is the world's third-largest steelmaker after Arcelor Mittal and Japan's Nippon Steel Corp.
Mittal Steel Co. NV, based in the Netherlands, and Luxembourg-based Arcelor SA agreed to combine last summer, and their merger is expected to be completed by May, subject to negotiations with competition authorities in Europe and the United States. Arcelor Mittal is set to have its headquarters in Luxembourg.
The merger has focused attention on consolidation and building cooperative relationships within the global steel industry.
Nippon Steel and Posco said in October that they had agreed to reinforce their capital and business ties.
Posco's Lee said earlier this month that his company will seek bigger size, higher quality, lower costs and active strategic partnership with global rivals in what he called the best way to avoid becoming a takeover target.
Separately Monday, Japanese steel maker JFE Steel Corp. and South Korea's Hyundai Steel Co. said they are considering expanding their alliance, though added no details have been decided.
Posco's share price has jumped 52 percent in the past year on its solid earnings, the view that it is undervalued compared with its peers and the possibility it could attract takeover interest, analysts say.
The company, whose shares are 62 percent owned by foreign investors, has taken various steps to protect itself from potential unwanted takeover interest such as by cementing ties with friendly domestic shareholders and the relationship with Nippon Steel, said Ha Suk-won, an analyst at Kyobo Securities in Seoul.
Shares in Posco rose 2 percent Monday to close at 325,000 won (US$346; euro268), a record high.
Posco said earlier this month that its fourth-quarter profit soared, helped mainly by higher steel prices and lower raw material costs. The company earned 936 billion won (US$996 million; euro772 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31, more than doubling from the same period the year before.
Posco sells about 70 percent to 75 percent of its products in South Korea.


Updated : 2021-03-01 06:16 GMT+08:00