Qatar’s austerity drive will be felt beyond Doha

November 5, 2015

Despite being among the wealthiest people on the planet, Qataris must cut “wasteful” spending as low energy prices squeeze revenue, their ruler has warned. Years of high-profile investments including VW, Glencore and Barclays mean it may not just be Qataris who feel the pinch.

Glencore model is battered but not broken

September 14, 2015

Ivan Glasenberg’s mining creation has been wrong-footed by commodity prices, China, and shareholder worries about debt. The pressures may undermine Glencore’s premium valuation and its penchant for doing big deals. Its mix of trading and mining, however, is logical and robust.

Glencore’s giant cash call puts squeeze on rivals

September 7, 2015

The Swiss trader’s $10 bln debt reduction plan eases balance sheet jitters by cutting net borrowings by a third. Investors get stability at the expense of their dividend. But the move offers a grim view of commodity prices that undercuts the investment case for the whole sector.

Glencore tripped up by faith in rational markets

August 19, 2015

The commodity trader’s earnings have disappointed as copper and coal have tumbled. Anticipating the market is getting harder because both rivals’ behaviour and Chinese demand for raw materials are even more unpredictable. Glencore is thus focusing on what it can control: cash.

Commodity producer/trader boundary starts to blur

October 14, 2014

Glencore’s interest in a deal with Rio Tinto was about more than corporate ambition. Commodity traders are keen to buy hard assets to secure supply, while producers view logistics and marketing as a way of boosting returns. Expect more convergence, and shrinking trading margins.

Glencore Rio takeover would be harder than Xstrata

October 7, 2014

Ivan Glasenberg’s miner-trader is stalking $90 billion iron giant Rio Tinto. Though there’s some logic to a deal, Glencore will be loath to pay much of a premium, and the clash of cultures would be extreme. Rio is also in a better position to resist than rival Xstrata in 2012.

Rio Tinto can dig in against Glencore

October 7, 2014

The miner’s shares leapt after it admitted rebuffing the commodity trading giant. Yet the timing is opportunistic, as iron ore slumps, and a $160 bln merger looks suspiciously like a takeover on the cheap. So Rio’s board can justifiably demand a big premium, or no deal.

Glencore faces fight to land $5.5 bln Viterra deal

March 13, 2012

Buying Canada’s biggest grain handler would round out the commodity trader’s growing agricultural portfolio. The assets are attractive and the timing is right. But rival bidders, a lack of obvious synergies and Canada’s penchant for resource nationalism may present obstacles.

Qatar plays merger-maker at Glencore-Xstrata

April 13, 2012

The Gulf state has been a successful arbitrageur in the past. Its 5 pct stake in Xstrata is under water following the recent equity market sell-off. But Qatar could provide extra leverage to help the miner extract a sweeter offer from suitor Glencore.

Xstrata shareholders should say no

June 19, 2012

The $45 mln three-year retention package to keep CEO Mick Davis at a merged Glencore-Xstrata is an insurance policy against the damage the company would suffer if he quit. But the premium is excessive. Investors should take a stand, even if that means losing the deal.