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BHP has room to answer doubters as commodities rout batters debt

CEO can appease bondholders by reining in shareholder dividends or raising fresh equity

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Mr Mackenzie, who is scheduled to unveil first-half earnings on Feb 23, said in an operational update last week that the producer is reducing costs and focused on improving operational performance.

Sydney

BHP Billiton Ltd's debt has scope to rebound if Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie can stick to his pledge to maintain a "solid A" credit rating for the world's biggest miner.

A plunge in metal and energy prices this month drove the cost of protecting BHP bonds with

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