Looming price falls may force big miners to speed up asset sales

(Reuters) by Sonali Paul and Barbara Lewis – Three of the world’s top five miners will need to step up asset sales in the second half of this year to meet a $14 billion full-year target as they race to cut debt, with a recent rally in commodities prices seen as short-lived. The world’s biggest miners predicted doom and gloom for 2016 six months ago when they booked their worst earnings in more than a decade, slashed dividends and put an array of copper, coal, iron ore and other assets on the block. Glencore (GLEN.L), Anglo American (AAL.L) and Vale (VALE5.SA), have so far raised $5.4 billion from asset sales, less than half their target, delaying efforts to reduce debt and boost their battered credit ratings. Investors will be looking to see how much pressure miners feel on the pace of sales when they report results in coming weeks, led off by Anglo American and Vale on Thursday. “Higher commodity prices take away some pressure on companies to sell, but the situation remains tense,” said David Finger, an analyst at Allianz Global Investors in London. Asset sales lost steam amid a first-half rebound in commodity prices fueled by China’s efforts to

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