Vale Secures Chinese Deals to Build Cash in Iron-Ore Rout

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Murilo Ferreira made the most of China’s latest Brazil tour.

The chief executive officer of iron-ore giant Vale SA signed four deals with Chinese counterparts during Tuesday’s visit by Premier Li Keqiang to Brasilia, including a credit agreement worth as much as $4 billion. The Rio de Janeiro-based miner also scooped up $445 million from divesting four of its iron-ore ships and agreeing to sell four more carriers to a Chinese shipping firm. Shares ended a six-day losing streak.

The accords come as Vale, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, seeks to boost cash as it faces a supply glut that sent prices for the steelmaking ingredient to the lowest in a decade in April. On May 15, the company said it agreed to terms on a $3 billion revolving loan with 24 banks for five years. Vale may get $2.1 billion by selling all of its giant Valemax ships at similar values, according to Banco Itau BBA SA.

“Given the challenging outlook for the commodity industry and the still heavy capex program for 2015 and 2016, Vale has been successful in building a war chest to prepare for the tough times ahead,” Itau analysts led by Marcos Assumpcao wrote in note dated Tuesday.

As part of Tuesday’s announcements, Vale signed a memorandum of understanding with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s largest lender, to receive as much as $4 billion in syndicated and bilateral loans, among other potential financing.

The miner also said an agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China would free two loans of as much as $1.2 billion each to China Merchants Group Ltd. and China Cosco Holdings Co. to provide shipping services to transport Vale’s iron ore.

Vale slid 1.9 percent to close at 16.57 reais in Sao Paulo.

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