Glencore surges as speculation swirls around takeover, Viterra sale – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – October 5, 2015)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

ROME — Glencore rallied strongly on Monday as CEO Ivan Glasenberg of the world’s biggest commodities trader pleaded for the closure of copper mines in a glutted market, and analysts suggested the company’s shares were oversold last week, when they plunged 30 per cent in one day.

In midafternoon trading in London, the shares were up 18 per cent. In overnight Hong Kong trading, Glencore surged more than 70 per cent on speculation that it is open to takeover offers and is close to selling its Canadian agriculture business.

But analysts dismissed the Hong Kong trading as essentially meaningless since Glencore shares have very little liquidity in that market and are prone to wild swings. Monday’s rise in both markets was so sharp and fast that the Swiss company was forced to put out a statement denying that any deal was imminent. It said “the board confirms that is not aware for any reason for these price and volume movements.”

Speaking on a panel in London at the Financial Times Africa Summit, Mr. Glasenberg made no comment on the extreme volatility in recent weeks in Glencore’s share price. But he urged rival mining companies to close copper mines to bring the market back into balance. “If you’re not making money, I believe you should take production out and reduce supply,” he said. “Don’t create oversupply in the market for no reason.”

Glencore last month announced it would shut production at two African copper mines, one in Zambia, the other in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Together, the mines are responsible for about 2 per cent of global output.

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