Teck says concerns over Chinese economy overblown

Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:01pm EST
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO TCK.N believes that concerns about a slowdown in the Chinese economy are overblown, Chief Executive Don Lindsay said on Monday.

"We are often asked about our view of the Chinese economy and whether we expect a hard landing or a soft landing," Lindsay said in an address to the BMO Global Metals and Mining Conference in Hollywood, Florida. "Judging by the recent economic data and the Chinese government's recent actions on bank reserve ratios, we think neither will occur."

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Teck is one of the world's top exporters of sea-borne coking coal, a key raw material used in manufacturing steel. In addition to its sizable coal exports to China, Teck also exports large amounts of copper and zinc to the country.

"With recent (China) gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 8.9 percent and industrial production growth at 12.8 percent, these numbers look very good indeed," Lindsay said.

"Keep in mind that this is a policy-driven slowdown. They want to slow down and they are targeting GDP growth in the 7 percent range. In absolute terms though, this is still more growth than five years ago, when the percentages were 10 or 12 percent on a smaller economic base," he added.

"Similarly, fixed-asset investment is still strong and we continue to see the growth of the consumer economy in China with strong retail sales growth. So no, we don't see any landing, we see managed growth at a somewhat lower trajectory," he said.


Lindsay said the company is still keen to add iron ore to its portfolio of assets, given that it is also a key component in the steel-making process.   Continued...

Don Lindsay, president and CEO of Teck Resources, speaks to shareholders during the company's annual general meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia April 22, 2010. REUTERS/Lyle Stafford