Aluminium featured most recently in BHP Billiton’s plans for a demerger, with the commodity making up a central component of the five divisions the NewCo will comprise.
Unfortunately for aluminium, its place in the soon-to-be-formed company is being viewed by many market participants as a little compensation for the metal, given it missed out on being one of the core pillars BHP Billiton is keeping safely away in the original mining firm.
Viewing the demerger as a division of assets between a good and a bad company may not be exactly what BHP Billiton had expected nor intended, and nor may it be entirely fair to the aluminium division or other commodity assets – coal, manganese, nickel and silver – included in the new grouping.
The data says a lot, however. The assets BHP Billiton is retaining in the core group accounted for 96% of its underlying earnings in 2014....