Anglo American share price falls as it suspends dividend and cuts jobs amid deepening commodity crisis

Jessica Morris
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Miners have suffered amid the commodities price rout (Source: Getty)

Anglo American today suspended its dividend for the first time in eight years, with the miner also laying off around 60 per cent of its workforce as it struggles to weather a rout in commodity prices.

It came as the miner announced a "radical restructuring", under which its workforce will shrink to 50,000 from 135,000, as it consolidates from three to six businesses. Additionally, Anglo will cut capital expenditure by an additional $1bn (£665m) by the end of next year.

Shares in the company fell 8.27 per cent to 337.5p this morning after the company announced the suspension of its dividend payments for the second half of 2015 and 2016.

"In what must be the worst kept secret ever, Anglo American has suspended its dividend. Investors have shown their ire towards this decision as the stock trades to even deeper all-time lows," Brenda Kelly, head analyst at London Capital Group, said.

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"While we have continued to deliver our business restructuring and performance objectives across the board, the severity of commodity price deterioration requires bolder action," Mark Cutifani, chief executive at Anglo American, said.

"We will set out the detail of the future portfolio in February, with the aim of delivering a resilient Anglo American and a step change in the transformation of the company."

Plunging commodity prices have heaped pressure on mining companies' credit ratings and dividends, leading to a number of business restructurings.

However, Anglo is seen as more vulnerable than rivals Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, which have both reaffirmed their commitment to pay a dividend. This is because of Anglo's higher-cost iron ore assets, loss-making platinum assets and slower than expected progress with its restructuring plans.

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