Glencore shares surge on debt-trimming plan

11th December 2015, Comments 0 comments

Shares in struggling mining giant Glencore surged in Hong Kong Friday morning after it said it had widened its debt-trimming plan as a sharp plunge in commodities prices hammers the energy market.

The firm soared 8.1 percent to HK$10.22 in early exchanges a day after it announced in London it wanted to slash its debt pile to $18-$19 billion by the end of next year -- it had previously announced a target of $20 billion.

London-listed shares in the firm ended more than seven percent higher.

Glencore, the world's biggest mining company, also cut back its spending projections, with $3.8 billion allocated for investments in 2016, down from an earlier estimate of $5 billion.

Highlights of the updated plans to stabilise the company's books include new share sales and proposals to spin off copper mines in Australia and Chile.

The company has lost more than three quarters of its value since listing with much fanfare in London and Hong Kong in May 2011.

The debt-laden firm has faced wild fluctuation in its share price in recent months with investors fearing that sinking commodity prices will affect its ability to meet outstanding debt obligations.

Raw material prices have sunk to a 16-year-low, with the economic slowdown in China seen as a key factor in plummeting demand.

The slump in commodities prices -- from oil and copper to nickel and iron ore -- have seen energy giants around the world forced to scale back operations and investments, sending share prices tumbling.

This week miner Anglo American revealed plans to slash its workforce by almost two-thirds after 2017, adding that it would suspend dividend payments until the end of next year.

Also, Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday refused to rule out closing its New Zealand operations after more than a century as it announced a review of its operations in the country. The firm booked a US$7.4 billion third-quarter loss on the back of plummeting oil prices and the scrapping of expensive projects in Alaska and Canada.

© 2015 AFP

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