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BHP, Rio Profit Downgraded 4% by UBS on Carbon, Mining Taxes

UBS AG downgraded BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Ltd.’s earnings estimates by 4 percent due to Australia’s mining and carbon taxes.

BHP will pay $715 million in mining tax and A$300 million ($302 million) in carbon tax in the year ending June 30, 2013, UBS analyst Glyn Lawcock said in an e-mailed statement today. The carbon tax will cost Rio $202 million, while the mining tax will cost the company $676 million in the 2013 calendar year, he said.

Companies including BHP, Rio and Alumina Ltd. may receive assistance with the carbon tax for some of their emissions, he said. This will help Alcoa Worldwide Alumina, in which Alumina has a 40 percent interest, reduce its carbon tax liability to about A$20 million from A$380 million without help, Lawcock said.

UBS downgraded Alumina’s 2013 earnings 5 percent to A$130 million.

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