AngloGold CEO asks for credit promotions at S&P


CEO of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG), Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, said that the company’s liability deserves to be promoted from junk at Standard & Poor (S&P) after the company slashed costs, increased production and settled a strike.

Bond markets suggested he’s right. Yields on AngloGold’s $700 million of bonds due in April 2020 have declined 279 points to 6.28 % since August 7, when it publicized a design to cut costs. That’s near a four-month low of 6.18% reached on November 7 and at grades last seen when the debt was ranked investment rated by S&P. Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI)’s $1 billion of bonds due October 2020 have the identical credit ranking and a yield that’s 135 points higher at 7.63%.

S&P cut AngloGold’s credit ranking one step to BB+ from BBB-on July 17, saying the 23% downturn in the cost of gold this year will tuck the money flow given the company’s planned capital spending. AngloGold has since announced plans to cut capital and corporate spending and slice jobs, assisting to an 11% drop in output charges to $1,155 an ounce in the third quarter, 13% below the price of gold in the time span.

The company’s CEO said that “Taking all of that into account, certainly we’d anticipate to glimpse some enhancement” in the credit rating. “The debt in the secondary market is currently trading like investment-grade debt,” he added.

Cost designs

A month after being downgraded, AngloGold announced designs to save nearly $1 billion from business, exploration and ongoing charges. The company also added that it would decrease capital expending after two new mines begun producing gold ahead of schedule in September.

“They were worried we’d consign the two projects on time and on budget,” Venkatakrishnan said. “We’ve ticked that box. They were worried about salary rises. We’ve ticked that box. They were worried about output improvements. We’ve ticked that carton. They were worried about our all-in costs. We’ve started making inroads into that.”

S&P doesn’t comment on future rankings alterations, said London-based Elad Jelasko, the prime borrowing analyst who downgraded AngloGold in July. Regardless, he is unmoved by the company’s latest alterations in scheme.

The CEO said that they’ve seen nothing that’s going to greatly change thier assumptions for $1.8 billion of Ebitda in 2014. “Our outlook currently factored some elements of cost-cutting, as well as wage negotiations and yield from the new mines of Tropicana and Kibali.”

Rand fall

Ebitda mentions to profits before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. Gold dropped 0.1 %to $1,281.09 an ounce at 10:16 a.m. in Johannesburg.

The rand turned down 0.5 percent to 10.4114 per dollar, extending the fall this year to 19 percent, the worst amidst 16 major currencies. Yields on South Africa’s $2 billion of bonds due in stride 2020 ascended 167 cornerstone points, or 1.67 percentage points, in 2013 to 4.31%.

AngloGold, with other South African manufacturers encompassing Gold Fields, acquiesced to lift entry-level below ground workers’ wages by 8 percent in September, conveying an end to a two-day strike. The nationwide amalgamation of Mineworkers, which represents two-thirds of South African gold excavation workers, had asked for a 60% boost.