World Steel Association (Worldsteel), whose members produce around 85% of the world’s steel, expects the apparent steel demand to fall by 14.9% to 1,019 million tonnes (mt) this year, compared with 1,197mt last year.India is one of the few countries that the association projected to buck the trend, predicting 2 percent growth in steel demand for the Asian nation this year. Figures confirmed Christmas’s view of the picture worsening in developed nations. Demand for the metal, used in construction and automotive industries, is seen down 36.6% in the US and 28.8% in the European Union.
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Simon Property Group Inc., the largest U.S. shopping-mall owner by stock-market value, tried to buy real estate from rival General Growth Properties Inc. before it filed for bankruptcy, Chief Executive David E. Simon said. “They didn’t realize they were a distressed seller,” Simon said in a panel discussion at the Milken Institute Global Conference today in Beverly Hills, California.
“You have a scenario today where you have very few ‘03 to ‘07 financings that are above water,” he said. “You have more debt than you have value.” Such owners have no incentive to sell as long as they owe more than their properties are worth, Zell said. Investors will buy distressed debt for “the next two to three years” as those properties go into foreclosure, he said.