(Yicai Global) Sept. 21 -- Two listed companies of Ansteel Group and Benxi Iron & Steel Group, the two largest steelmakers in northern China, denied reports of a pending group-level merger as part of the nation's reorganization of the industry.
Angang Steel Co. [SHE:000898], a unit of Ansteel, and Bengang Steel Plates Co. [SHE:000761] yesterday said they were not aware of plans to combine the two.
Ansteel and Benxi Steel will combine in 2017 and details will be released later this year, China Iron and Steel Association Vice President Chi Jingdong said on Sept. 19. The disavowal follows the confirmed merger of Baosteel Group and Wuhan Iron & Steel Group (Wisco), China's second- and fourth-largest steel mills.
China's government is pushing for the country's steelmakers to combine amid overcapacity in the industry.
Anshan-based Ansteel, the nation's oldest iron and steel producer, has output capacity of 25 million tons and two listed companies -- Angang Steel and Pangang Group Vanadium Titanium & Resources Co. [SHE:000629]. Benxi Steel has capacity of 20 million tons, annual revenue of over CNY100 billion (USD15 billion) and one listed firm.
The China Iron and Steel Association's Mr. Chi also said that despite speculation no plan exists to merge Shougang Group and Hebei Iron & Steel Group, and the guiding opinions of the State Council, China's cabinet, do not indicate a need for that.