Gold giants battling to lure back investors who fled industry – by Danielle Bochove and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg/Toronto Star – June 9, 2019)

What’s better than GOLD? In the wake of two mega-mergers that have reset the gold industry, one small detail has delighted Mark Bristow, Barrick Gold Corp.’s chief executive officer: his company’s ability to secure the rights to trade its stock under the ticker GOLD in New York.

Barrick and newly merged Newmont Goldcorp Corp. are in a race to lure back generalist investors who fled the gold sector years ago. While Newmont has the advantage of size — it’s bigger by market capitalization and production — having the ticker GOLD certainly can’t hurt in the fight for brand recognition.

“If you want to be relevant in this world, you’ve got to attract a broader base of investors,” Bristow said in a phone interview Thursday. “A combination of the GOLD, and revitalizing the Barrick brand itself, is an exciting thing.”

Welcome to the gold industry’s new reality. For years, the two companies ran neck-and-neck on gold production, with Newmont generally lagging.

Then Barrick executed its $5.4-billion (U.S.) acquisition of Randgold Resources Ltd. in September and Newmont followed up in January by buying Goldcorp Inc. for $10 billion, making itself the world’s largest gold miner by a comfortable margin.

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