Anglo says Hampton is not on cards

MINING group Anglo American has dismissed reports that Royal Bank of Scotland chairman Sir Philip Hampton is set to join the board. <br /><br />Weekend reports said an announcement of his appointment could be made today. But Anglo said the report was &ldquo;speculation&rdquo;.<br /><br />Anglo plans to refresh its board following the failed merger approach by rival Xstrata in October this year. Sir John Parker was appointed as chairman in July and is now under pressure to deliver greater value to investors, analysts said. <br /><br />Hampton was previously chairman of J Sainsbury and is regarded as a safe pair of hands by the City. He is expected to take up a non-executive role at Anglo, if appointed, say industry insiders.<br /><br />The failed bid by Xstrata shows that there is little hunger for megamergers in the current financial climate and Anglo are keen to show that they have future as an independent company. Anglo announced last month that it plans to sell off non-core assets, including Tarmac, and will also shed a layer of global management. <br /><br />&ldquo;I believe that these actions will position Anglo American well for sustained, profitable growth in the commodities we have identified as being the most attractive,&rdquo; chief executive, Cynthia Carroll said. <br /><br />&ldquo;The portfolio changes we have announced are the logical next step in focusing the Group on our core mining activities, enabling us to strengthen our balance sheet further,&rdquo; she added.