Glen­core scraps $2.6bn pay­out amid com­modi­ties crunch

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Ed Clowes

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.

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