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Rio Tinto enters physical trading business

Rio Tinto has started physical trading of its metals and minerals products in a bid to get better prices, the Financial Times reported Dec. 28, citing the company's CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques.

Through a Singapore-based marketing and procurement hub, the company is presently trading small volumes of bauxite, alumina and aluminum, but may increase its activities "over the medium and long term."

Jacques noted that Rio Tinto needs to better understand its markets to improve returns, also from its main commodities such as iron ore and copper.

Rio Tinto recently completed a US$1.5 billion on-market buyback of Rio Tinto Plc shares, and launched a further US$1.93 billion on-market share buyback program.