Glencore share price rises as it unveils increases debt reduction and cuts spending

 
Jessica Morris
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Glencore is the second worst performer in the FTSE (Source: Getty)

Glencore shares rose 5.7 per cent to 87.75p per share this morning, as investors cheered its plans for more debt reduction and spending cuts.

In a statement released ahead of its annual investor day, the commodities miner and trader said it was now targeting net debt of between $18bn (£11.9bn) and $19bn by the end of 2016, lower than the previous target of $20bn.

Glencore has also slashed its capital expenditure for 2015 to $5.7bn from $6bn, and to $3.8bn from $5bn for the following year.

Tumbling commodity prices have sent Glencore shares around 70 per cent lower this year, amid concerns over its ability to weather a prolonged commodity downturn.

This prompted it to unveil a debt-reduction plan involving asset sales, capital expenditure cuts, suspending dividend payments and raising $2.5bn of new equity capital.

"In September, we announced a number of measures to reduce our debt," chief executive Ivan Glasenberg said.

Read more: The scale of impact on commodity stocks and financial services revealed

"Today we show significant delivery on those commitments, with $8.7bn achieved to date, and are able to announce an increase in our net debt reduction target measures by almost $3bn to $13bn."

"Glencore is well placed to continue to be cash generative in the current environment - and at even lower prices. We retain a high degree of flexibility and will continue to review the need to act further as required."

Nevertheless, analyst reaction remained muted, with many noting that persistently low copper prices remain a risk to Glencore.

Today’s announcement adds further assurances around Glencore’s investment credit rating, which remains crucial for the sustainability of the group’s marketing operations," Nicolas Ziegelasch, head of equity research, Killik & Co, said.

"However, Glencore remains heavily exposed to spot commodity prices and further declines may ultimately unwind much of the debt reduction measures. In this context, Glencore remains a geared commodity play and without a turnaround in commodity prices in the short term we continued to advise caution with investing in the company’s shares," Ziegelasch added.

"In the context of the year to date moves in the share price however, it’s a drop in the ocean and clambering back from the lows as copper prices remain depressed will be no easy task," Brenda Kelly, head analyst at London Capital, said.

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