China deeply concerned by BHP bid for Rio -media

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BEIJING, Nov 20 (Reuters) - China's steel industry, the world's largest, is deeply concerned about a proposed merger of miners BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto, a state newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Chinese steel companies fear a merger of the two mining giants would create ''an even bigger monopoly'', the China Metallurgical News quoted an unnamed leader of the China Iron and Steel Association as saying.

BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers said on Tuesday the case for his firm's 0 billion takeover offer for Rio Tinto was very compelling, though much work remained to be done.

China already takes half of all the iron ore that BHP mines, but balances this with orders from Rio, Brazil's CVRD and smaller miners in India and elsewhere.

Japanese steelmakers on Monday said they also vehemently opposed the proposed merger, which would assemble a massive controlling force across a range of industrial-use commodities such as iron ore, coal, manganese copper, uranium and diamonds.

Kloppers is due in China on Wednesday as part of a continent-hopping tour to press his case to big investors and customers.


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