Wednesday 24 October 2018

Glencore’s profits rise but shares fall amid anti-money laundering probe

The mining giant stayed silent on its ongoing involvement in a probe by the US Department of Justice.

Glencore’s shares were hit when news of the money laundering investigation broke (Xstrata/PA)
Glencore’s shares were hit when news of the money laundering investigation broke (Xstrata/PA)

By Helen Cahill, Press Association City Reporter

Glencore has posted a rise in earnings for the half-year, but remained tight-lipped on an ongoing money-laundering probe by the US Department of Justice.

The mining giant said its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 23% to 8.3 billion US dollars (£6.4 billion) in the first half, up from 6.7 billion US dollars (£5.2 billion) during the same period last year.

However this was lower than the 8.5 billion US dollars analysts were expecting.

Glencore, which is currently involved in an anti-money laundering probe by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), said market conditions would “remain volatile”.

Liberum analyst Ben Davis said this was due to the timing of copper shipments, which delayed sales to the second half.

Mr Davis said: “There was no increase in the announced 1 billion US dollar buyback programme, which we thought to be possible given the continued weakness in the shares, or any update on the DOJ investigation.

“Production is weighted to the second half, but we expect continued weakness in earnings momentum as China demand slows with the real estate sector.”

Glencore’s shares were down 7.1p or 2.1% to 319.2p in early trading on Wednesday.

Glencore shares tumbled after the mining giant announced that it had been slapped with a subpoena in the US, with the DOJ demanding documents relating to the firm’s business in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Venezuela over the past 11 years.

The company has previously said it will co-operate with the DOJ.

Glencore’s chief executive, Ivan Glasenberg, said: “While broader market conditions are likely to remain volatile, confidence in our business prospects and current share trading levels point to near-term focus on de-leveraging and shareholder returns/buybacks funded through cash generation.

“We remain focused on creating value for shareholders through the disciplined allocation of long-term capital.”

Press Association

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