Watchdog approves Glencore’s Optimum deal

[] — SOUTH Africa’s competition authorities has conditionally approved Glencore’s takeover of South Africa’s Optimum Coal in a deal that values the company at close to $1.3bn.

The country’s Competition Tribunal said on Thursday it found the transaction was unlikely to raise major competition concerns.

Glencore’s drive into South African mining comes amid investor uncertainty about regulatory requirements such as black ownership targets, talk of steep resource taxes, rapidly rising costs and labour militancy.

But South African coal assets still look promising, given Asian and local power utility demand and the country’s location, with shipping access to the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.