Glencore scraps $2.6bn payout amid commodities crunch
MINING giant Glencore has scrapped a $2.6bn (£2bn) dividend, meaning its billionaire boss Ivan Glasenberg will miss out on a bumper payday.
The firm ditched the payment to shareholders for the first time since 2016 after it plunged to a $2.6bn loss.
Mr Glasenberg – who has run Glencore for 18 years and led the company through a stock market float that made him one of the world’s richest men – owns 10pc of the business and would have been in line for around $260m.
The 63-year-old said it would be inappropriate to go ahead with the proposed dividend given the performance of the business.
Glencore, which owns mines and also trades commodities, tumbled into the red as the coronavirus lockdown sent demand and prices plunging for the company’s products including coal, cobalt, copper and oil. The FTSE 100 company made a $226m profit in the same period last year. Revenue sank by a third to $71bn. One bright spot was its trading division, which capitalised on chaos in oil markets to secure a record $2bn profit. Oil trading alone netted Glencore profits of $1.3bn.
However, the business was forced to write down the value of its mines and other assets by $3.2bn because of collapsing commodity prices.
Glencore’s coal mines in Colombia took a $1bn impairment charge on the bleak outlook for the fossil fuel. Lockdowns hit short-term demand as power consumption plummeted, and experts predicted the chaos would speed up the switch to green energy.
The company told investors that its priority was paying down a $20bn debt pile. Mr Glasenberg refused to be drawn on the race to replace him at Glencore. In February, he alluded to ushering in a new generation of leadership but stopped short of announcing his retirement.