IN December, Ivan Glasenberg’s Glencore appointed former South African Reserve Bank governor, and ANC stalwart, Gill Marcus, to its board fuelling speculation the group might be turning its attention to future South African opportunities.
The likelihood is this appointment adds to board diversity and its brains trust, but as far as common-and-garden tittle-tattle goes, why not speculate further on Glencore’s apparently unfettered ambition to extend its production and trading base? Without doubt, the firm has been the most bullish of the world’s diversified miners in respect of where the market is heading – a view predicated on its recent transactional history.
The emergence of ‘electric vehicles’ as a new major source for industrial metal demand has also pepped up spirits, especially Glasenberg – although one is duty-bound to question why he is making such a big fuss about it now considering it’s probably been in Glencore’s folder of cracking strategy ideas for quite a while.
In truth, no company has reflected the rehabilitation of the world’s mining sector better than Glencore and Glasenberg. He can even talk with enthusiasm about thermal coal. Whilst the others sigh and suck their teeth about the commodity, Glasenberg generally sees upside.
How else explain his dogged pursuit of Rio Tinto’s Coal & Allied to which Glencore eventually won exposure by cutting a side deal with Yancoal which had beaten Glencore to the assets.
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