Steelmaker ArcelorMittal confirmed on Thursday that it is in talks with China Oriental Group over a potential cooperation deal as well as increasing its stake in the company, the Wall Street Journal reported. ArcelorMittal owns 28% of China Oriental and, according to a company filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange dated November 13, has the option to raise its stake to 73.1%. This would come about through the purchase of Oriental chairman Han Jingyuan's 45.1% holding. ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker by production capacity, bought its existing 28% stake from Diana Chen for US$647 million on November 7. Analysts said that the company was conscious of the need to build on its relatively small presence in the fast-growing Asian market. China produced 42.9 million tons of steel in October, almost 38% of the world's total output.
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