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UPDATE 1-Brazil's Vale looks to sell assets to boost profit

Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 1:53 PM ET

* Investments will fall to adjust to drop in revenues

* Company is reevaluating underperforming investments

* Asset sales to be expected from the company - CFO

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Brazilian mining company Vale plans to sell underperforming assets in a broad push to control costs and boost profitability, executives said on Thursday, a day after the company posted weak earnings and put a major investment on hold in the West African nation of Guinea.

Vale's chief financial officer, Luciano Siani, said on a conference call with analysts that they ``should expect the sale of some assets'' as the company adjusts to a drop in revenue, a trend that has spread through the steel and mining industry worldwide in the cooling economic climate.

``Efforts to control costs are underway in a major way at all levels of the company,'' Siani said. ``We expect results shortly.''

The company has put the start up of its Simandou high-grade iron ore deposit in Guinea on hold and is reviewing investments in several of its base metals projects as well, Siani said.

Late on Wednesday, the world's No. 2 mining company reported third-quarter profit fell 66 percent to $1.67 billion, its worst performance in three years.

Investors responded positively to the company's plan to rein in investments. Vale preferred shares, the company's most-traded class of stock, jumped 4.5 percent 36.93 reais in late morning trading in Sao Paulo. The stock is on track for its biggest one-day gain in nearly two months.

The company said it closed several exploration and research offices as part of its effort to bring its cash flow in line with the drop in iron ore prices, which accounts for 90 percent of the company's revenues.

The spot price for Chinese landed iron ore averaged $112.12 a tonne in the quarter, 36 percent less than a year earlier. The price of iron ore fell to a three-year low of $86.70 a tonne on Sept. 5.