Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX), the largest miner of the metal, has gone from the worst performer to the best among Canadian firms with U.S. dollar bonds, on bets gold prices have bottomed out after the biggest drop in 90 years.
Barrick bonds returned an average 3.2 percent this month, the most among the 50 largest issuers tracked by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. Corporate & Yankees Canadian Issuers Index. Barrick’s 5.25 percent notes due in April 2042 rose 5.1 percent in July, the biggest advance in the index. Last month the company’s debt was the biggest loser among the largest issuers on the index with a 10 percent decline, the data show.
Gold miners, including Goldcorp Inc. (G), the world’s biggest by market value, have announced at least $15 billion of writedowns in the past two months after the precious metal’s steepest quarterly drop in London trading in more than nine decades. The metal’s price has risen from almost a three-year low at the end of June, when Barrick announced it may write down as much as $5.5 billion.
“I think there’s a good chance we bottomed out,” said Scott MacDonald, who helps manage $600 million as head of research at MC Asset Management Holdings LLC in Stamford Connecticut. “You had a bubble in prices. You burst the bubble. Prices became more reasonable, and investors now feel the water is OK to go back in.”