MARKETS SPECTATOR: The great Rio rejig?

Sam Walsh may not have convinced investors with his asset divestments to date, but analysts close to the company are flagging bigger moves to come.

Is the pressure getting to Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh? Today’s announcement the miner has got $US325 million in cash for a US nickel-copper mine and mill suggests a disinvestment plan is gathering place. Walsh has already made a commitment to sell Pacific Aluminum. Its diamond business is on the block. There are reports the company, decried by Rio as media speculation, has lined up potential buyers of its Australian coal assets with the help of Deutsche Bank.

Rio’s chief financial officer Chris Lynch said today in a statement: “We are making good progress on a number of other potential divestments as part of our goal to achieve substantial proceeds from divesting non-core assets”.

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