Glencore makes good on pledge with $1 billion buyback

August 20, 2014

Making good on a promise to return cash to shareholders, Glencore became the first of the large mining companies to announce a share buyback program.

The commodities giant said it will buy back up to $1 billion of shares as it reported forecast-beating first-half profit.

A number of diversified mining companies have vowed to control their spending and reward shareholders more after being criticized for years of squandering money on risky projects that resulted in multibillion-dollar writedowns as metals prices started to fall, Reuters reported.

However, rival BHP Billiton failed to deliver when it held fire on an expected buyback announcement, while Rio Tinto signaled that a share buyback could come when it reports full-year results in February.

Expectation of Glencore making good on its promise was heightened with this month's completion of the sale of Glencore's Peruvian copper project Las Bambas to a Chinese consortium for $6.5 billion after tax, either through a buyback or special dividend.

Glencore, which completed a record-breaking acquisition of rival Xstrata a little more than a year ago, is the world's largest producer of zinc and one of the top miners and traders of copper and nickel.

After posting an 8 percent rise in first-half core profit, Glencore said that buyback will be carried out by the end of next March and any shares purchased will be held as treasury shares.


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