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With gold surging, miners face payouts-vs.-production dilemma
By Justina Vasquez, Danielle Bochove, and Steven Frank
Sunday, February 23, 2020
As gold prices rise, miners have been boosting shareholder payouts in the face of a decline in global output. That's worrying some investors concerned about the longterm growth prospects of an industry built on a depleting resource.
The value of gold, a haven commodity, is driven more by global economics than supply and demand. Any unexpected event -- from a surprising cure for coronavirus to a positive trade deal -- could drop the value significantly. High prices put more gold scrap on the market, low ones increase hoarding and, if miners' output remains static, so should profits.
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Increasingly, investors are split between their wish for higher dividends in the short run and the need to assure company stability over the long term. Finding the "best of both worlds" in allocating the rising cash pile is key for the future of the industry, according to Josh Wolfson, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. ...
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Toast to a free gold market
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