Ritchie Alberta auction sets new records as oil slump lingers

Mon May 2, 2016 12:02pm EDT
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CALGARY, Alberta May 2 (Reuters) - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers sold more than C$240 million ($191.53 million) of equipment at its biggest ever Canadian auction over the weekend, as Alberta's struggling oil sector continues to downsize amid a persisting crude price slump.

The world's largest industrial equipment auctioneer said on Monday it set new company records for the number of sellers and registered bidders at its five-day Edmonton, Alberta, auction.

Last year, Ritchie Bros had its best-ever year as plunging global crude prices forced struggling oilfield service companies to sell off equipment, which was picked up by other sectors including agriculture, transportation and forestry.

"Approximately 46 percent of the equipment was purchased by Alberta buyers, showcasing the strength and size of this market even when there are economic challenges," said Brian Glenn, Senior Vice President of Ritchie Bros, referring to the most recent auction.

Ritchie Bros shares were last up 0.6 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange at C$36.22.

($1 = 1.2531 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Bernadette Baum)