Vale (NYSE: VALE) is ready to resume dividend payments to investors and is just waiting for more certainty around the coronavirus pandemic before approving the move, Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani Pires told investors on Friday.
“China today consumes 75% of the world’s iron ore. The risk of a second wave of coronavirus there has to be monitored,” he said.
The company suspended dividend payments since the disaster at Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, when its dam burst in 2019, killing over 270 people.
Siani Pires said that after the disaster the company began developing its environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.
“Today there is a perception of greater risk for the company because of Brumadinho. The company is negotiated lower than it should be,” he said.
Seaborne iron ore prices were up Friday, crossing the $100 per tonne threshold.
A rise in prices in both the Chinese iron ore futures market and the 62% Fe July swaps contract on the Singapore Exchange contributed to the increase.
Vale tends to play an important role to bring down the prices as its production increases in the second half of the year, according to Siani Pires.
“We had a bad first semester, also because of climate factors. As we normalize production in H2, we expect the prices to fall.”
Midday Friday, Vale’s stock was up 1.26% on the NYSE. The company has a $53.4 billion market capitalization.