Newmont sells out of Australian gold miner Regis

SYDNEY, March 11 (Reuters) - U.S. gold giant Newmont Mining said it is selling its stake in Australian miner Regis Resources to institutional investors for $182 million.

Newmont, which is taking advantage of a sustained rally in the price of gold and the rising value of Australian gold miners, said it would sell its entire 19.45 percent interest, or 97.2 million shares.

Regis shares have more than doubled since early July, aided by a stronger gold price, a lower Australian dollar and cheaper energy, which have lifted margins across the sector at a time when big North American gold miners are tightening belts and paying off debt.

Newmont, which mines about 5 million ounces of gold a year compared with about 300,000 ounces for Regis, said in a statement it has sold nearly $1.9 billion in non-core assets since mid-2013.

“This sale further strengthens Newmont’s balance sheet and enhances our focus on our core business,” said Randy Engel, Newmont Executive Vice President for Strategic Development.

Local media reported Credit Suisse was handling the deal, struck at a A$2.51, a 4.2 percent discount to Regis’ closing price on Thursday. A Credit Suisse spokeswoman would not immediately comment on the bank’s participation.

Regis fell 1.5 percent in early trade on Friday to A$2.58. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Richard Pullin)