China is considering a merger between China Minmetals Corp, one of the country’s largest miners and metals traders, and China National Gold Group, as Beijing pushes consolidation of its state-run firms, sources with knowledge of the matter said. Three sources with knowledge of the discussions said the two state-owned firms have been in negotiations for months, though any agreement could still be some time away. The talks between two of China’s largest metals producers are part of Beijing’s broad efforts to shake up its indebted and inefficient state sector, streamline the number of companies and create globally competitive firms in sectors including power generation, shipping and metals. Minmetals, which controls Hong Kong-listed unit MMG , said it was not aware of any discussions over a tie-up and said it would publish any statement on its website. China National Gold – one of the top gold miners in a country that has become the world’s largest producer – declined to comment. The State Assets and Supervision Administration Commission (SASAC), which oversees the sector and favours an overall shake-up, did not respond to a request for comment. China Minmetals owns eight listed companies in China and Hong Kong, including Metallurgical Corporation of China which has a market capitalisation of around $15 billion, and MMG Ltd with a $3 billion market value.
The two listed units under China National Gold have a combined market value of around $5.8 billion.