Glencore's biggest shareholder reduces stake in embattled miner

Jessica Morris
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Glencore ended nearly a year's hiatus on the bond markets (Source: Getty)

Glencore's biggest shareholder has reduced its stake in the embattled miner and trader which has been whipsawed by tumbling commodity prices.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) today took its holding below nine per cent according to a regulatory filing.

Read more: Glencore's chief executive took home £1.1m last year

Today's move could surprise some investors, given the sovereign wealth fund's recent participation in Glencore's $2.5bn (£1.7bn) rights issue earlier this year.

The QIA has been reviewing its investment strategy as low oil prices reduce the flow of petrodollars to Gulf states and after the appointment of a new chief executive in December.

Earlier today, Glencore returned to the bond markets for the first time in nearly a year with an offering worth sFr 250m (£176.1m).

Read more: Glencore profits plunge on weak commodity prices

It was also the firm's first foray into the markets since the publication of a damning note by analysts at Investec sent its stocks and bonds into a tailspin last year.

Glencore has since sold assets to whittle down its $30bn debt pile. The company plans to reduce net debt from $25.9bn to between $17bn and $18bn this year.