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SHANGHAI Nov 6 China's Rizhao Iron and Steel,
one of China's largest private-sector steel mills, has signed an
agreement to consolidate with a state-owned rival, the official
China Securities Journal said on Thursday.
Rizhao and Shandong Iron and Steel, located in eastern
China's Shandong province, signed a letter of intent on
consolidation on Wednesday, the paper said. It gave no further
Fast-growing Rizhao produces 8 million tonnes of crude steel
annually and has attracted analysts' attention for its high
Consolidation has progressed slowly but steadily in China's
fragmented steel sector, with encouragement from the government.
The state-owned parents of Laiwu Steel Corp 600102.SS and
Jinan Iron and Steel Co (600022.SS) have merged to form Shandong
Iron and Steel Group, although they have yet to give a time frame
for a formal combination of their equity.
(Reporting by Alfred Cang; Editing by Edmund Klamann)