S. Korea's POSCO confirms buying Vietnam steel mill

SEOUL, July 16, 2009 (AFP) - South Korea's largest steelmaker POSCO confirmed Friday it would buy a Vietnamese stainless steel plant as part of efforts to meet growing demand.

POSCO said in a statement its board has approved the purchase of a 90 percent stake in Asia Stainless Corp but did not give the cost.

Industry sources quoted by Yonhap news agency estimated the deal could be worth around 50 million dollars.

POSCO said Asia Stainless, Vietnam's only cold-rolled stainless steel manufacturer, is expanding its annual capacity to 85,000 tons by 2010 from the 30,000 level at present.

It said current production of stainless steel falls far short of meeting the country's annual demand of 110,000 tons last year.

POSCO, the world's fourth largest steelmaker, also announced plans to build an automotive steel plate-making plant in western India with an annual capacity of 450,000 tons.

It said work would be completed by May 2012.

Earlier this year chief executive officer Chung Joon-Yang said the company would seek takeovers at home and abroad with its ample cash reserves, estimated at more than four trillion won (3.2 billion dollars).

In a separate deal, POSCO in May signed a memorandum of understanding with Vietnam Steel Corporation on a joint venture to produce up to one million tons of steel annually.

Source: AFP

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