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Mining giant Glencore launches $1 billion share buyback

Commodity trader and miner Glencore said on Wednesday it will launch a share buy-back program of up to $1 billion over the next six months, making it the first among the diversified miners to return extra cash to shareholders this year.

The announcement accompanied a forecast-beating 8 percent rise in first-half core profit. Glencore said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization totaled $6.5 billion, helped by a strong performance of its trading arm.


A logo sits on a sign outside Glencore Xstrata Plc's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland.
Gianluca Colla | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A logo sits on a sign outside Glencore Xstrata Plc's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland.

That topped a company-provided analysts' consensus of $6.3 billion.

The company also declared an interim dividend of $0.06 per share, an 11 percent increase over its 2013 interim distribution.

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London-listed Glencore said last week that it had received $6.5 billion after tax from the sale of its Peruvian copper project Las Bambas to a Chinese consortium earlier this year, boosting hopes of a special dividend for shareholders or a buy-back.

"The successful divestment of Las Bambas has improved our balance sheet to a position that now allows us to accelerate the return of excess capital to shareholders," Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg said in a statement.

The buy-back will be carried out by March 31 2015 and any shares purchased will be held as treasury shares, Glencore said.

"I think the buyback is positive for investors so it's going to be a good morning for Glencore," said Investec analyst Marc Elliott.