Chinese steel giant may bid for Rio Tinto's Canadian iron ore assets

Wuhan Iron & Steel is among a thinning field of bidders, potentially with partners, for the 59% stake in Iron Ore of Canada that Rio Tinto (RIO) put up for sale in March, WSJ reports.

The interest from the Chinese steel giant raises the possibility it could be the first Chinese state-owned firm to make a large Canadian acquisition since Cnooc's controversial deal for Nexen last year.

Some bankers say state-owned firms in China and elsewhere have been put off from bidding for Canadian assets by Ottawa's tightened rules and by the furor that surrounded Cnooc's acquisition, but the interest in RIO's Canadian iron ore assets may be different; China is the world's largest steel-producing country and depends on imported ore for 60% of its steelmaking (earlier).

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