BHP Billiton CEO discounts early signs of recovery

BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers said the fundamentals for Australia's minerals sector remains uncertain over the medium-term.

"Looking ahead, the best we can say is that conditions remain uncertain over the medium term," he told the Minerals Council of Australia conference in Canberra yesterday.

However, he said the company will continue investing in the sector as it believes the sector will gain its prominence in the long run, and BHP will always remain ready to take advantage of the situation.

"For well-managed resources companies with low debt, the long-term outlook will be positive. The problem is in judging when the recovery will be," he said.

The outlook for all the major markets, Kloppers said, remains a bit shaky.

The US economy is not out of woods, while the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) leading indicator was the lowest for 30 years.

The British and German economies are still in the doldrums with rising job cuts, and production cuts with exports plunging, and Japan was looking particularly weak.
However, Kloppers was optimistic on China.