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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

World's biggest gold producer to eliminate hedges, raise US$3b in share offer

TORONTO: Barrick Gold Corp., the world's biggest gold producer, said Tuesday it plans to eliminate all of its gold hedges and raise US$3 billion in a share offering to help pay for the move.

The Toronto-based company cited the bullish outlook for gold.

Its announcement came on a day the price of the metal rose above $1,000 per ounce to its highest level since March 2008.

Gold hedges are futures contracts that commit a company to selling the metal at set prices.

While hedges guarantee certain cash flows, they often commit a metals producer to ship the gold at prices lower than the current spot price.

Barrick's decision to pay off its hedges amounts to a bet that gold prices will keep rising.

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