Glencore shares surge in HK on agriculture asset sale hopes

Shares in beleaguered trader and miner Glencore rocketed as much as 72 percent on Monday in Hong Kong on hopes it would be able to cut debt with a sale of a stake in its agricultural assets.

In London, the company's shares followed on from the excitement in Hong Kong, surging to close urged to close well over 16 percent higher on the London Stock Exchange.

Reuters reported on Friday that Glencore is in talks with a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund and China's state-backed grain trader COFCO, along with Canadian pension funds, to sell a stake in the assets.

In an announcement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, Glencore said that it was not aware of any reasons for the price and volume movements.

Glencore wants to sell some assets as part of a wider plan to cut about a third of its $30 billion in net debt, including raising $2.5 billion through a share sale, suspending its dividend and cutting costs by trimming its copper output.

However doubts grew last week that it would be able to pay down debt fast enough to withstand a prolonged slump in commodities prices. Its shares sank to a record low last week, down 87 percent from when it listed in 2011.

On Monday the stock rebounded in Hong Kong to a one-month high of HK$18.36, then eased to trade up 40 percent at HK$15.00 in its biggest one day gain, partly helped by higher copper and oil prices.

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