By Alistair MacDonald 

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (August 6, 2020).

Barrick Gold Corp. is weighing moving its main listing from Toronto to New York, the company's chief executive said, a step that would weaken the gold giant's traditional links to Canada.

Chief Executive Mark Bristow said the company was debating a move to the New York Stock Exchange, but that there were no current plans to do so. He said he frequently debates the merits of a U.S. primary stock listing.

The NYSE "is an exceptional institution if you want to be global and focused upon as a public corporation rather than a niche player, and that is what we want to be," Mr. Bristow said in an interview.

"We want to be world class and be global," he said.

Barrick, with headquarters in Toronto, has its main listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with a secondary listing on the NYSE.

Helped by two years of rising gold prices, Barrick Gold has become one of the world's largest miners with a market value of more than $53 billion. Barrick shares are up around 64% this year, with gold trading at a record high above $2,000 an ounce.

A primary U.S. listing would allow Barrick to be traded on the S&P 500 and would open it up to large tracker funds that follow this index.

"As this world grows, public money changes in character... now there is an enormous amount of index buying," Mr. Bristow said.

Still, he said, "just to pick your tent up and move somewhere is very expensive."

Toronto remains one of the world's biggest trading centers for mining, but mainly for small to midsize company listings. Measured by market cap, Barrick Gold is Canada's largest miner and the world's second largest gold miner, just behind arch rival Newmont Corp.

An exchange shift would be a blow to the Toronto Stock Exchange and Canada, which has in recent decades lost many of its largest companies, particularly in oil and mining, as they either relist elsewhere or have become takeover targets.

Barrick Gold was founded in Canada in 1983 by entrepreneur Peter Munk, who bought a half interest in an Ontario mine. Riding an earlier boom in gold prices, he gobbled up mines, and by 2006, Barrick owned 27 world-wide. Mr. Munk died in 2018.

Write to Alistair MacDonald at alistair.macdonald@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 06, 2020 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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