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Glencore to divest Lonmin stake, cut expenditure to counter to weak prices

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.

Miner and commodities trader Glencore plans to divest its stake in platinum producer Lonmin and to cut capital expenditure this year in response to market volatility, it said on Wednesday as it reported increased copper and coal output.

Like its peers, Glencore has been hit by a rout in prices of commodities such as copper, coal and oil. The company's shares have fallen by more than 9 percent so far this year.

On Wednesday it said it would cut capital expenditure for this year to between $6.5 billion and $6.8 billion from a previously expected $7.9 billion.

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"Responding to the volatile market backdrop, we have comprehensively reviewed the planned level of sustaining and expansionary capex in 2015 ... with reduced spend from across the broad portfolio," the company said.

Glencore also said it intends to divest its 23.9 percent stake in Lonmin, inherited through the acquisition of Xstrata in May 2013, in the first half this year. It proposes to do so through a distribution of its shares to Glencore shareholders.

The London-listed company said it sees a distribution of shares as a better option than a sale at this point. Platinum prices have been stubbornly low in the last year, weighing on the value of platinum assets.

Lonmin said in a separate statement that it "views Glencore's proposal as a constructive way forward".

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