Glencore reveals financing plans in effort to soothe investor fears

In a bid to ease market fears and debunk speculation about its debt levels and access to credit, miner and commodity trader Glencore revealed details of its financing arrangements in a published statement on Tuesday, as its share price has suffered an extreme week of volatility.

The Anglo-Swiss group reiterated that it had access to $10.5 billion in available "committed liquidity" as of the end of June, and that current available liquidity was "materially above" the level record in June, in a funding factsheet published on Tuesday afternoon.

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An employee walks past coal washing flotation cells, manufactured by Jameson Cells, a unit of Glencore Xstrata
Brent Lewin I Bloomberg via Getty Images

The firm also referenced fears surrounding its credit rating, adding that in the event of a downgrade by Standard & Poor's and or Moody's, it would be faced with a "modest additional margin step-up" on its $6.8 billion 5-year revolving credit facility.

Glencore is rated BBB by Standard & Poor's and Baa2 by Moody's, with a negative outlook from both agencies.

If the group were cut two notches below investment grade or "junk" territory, it would be forced to pay out an extra 125 basis points on $4.5 billion of outstanding bonds, according to the statement.

Shares in the group bounced to trade as much as 3.5 percent higher before closing up over 2 percent after the note was published, recovering from earlier losses where it slumped over percent on Tuesday, following negative analyst sentiment.

Glencore pledged to shed up $10 billion in debt last month by issuing new shares, scrapping its dividend, cutting down on spending, sell assets and temporarily close two unprofitable mines in Africa.

HSBC downgrade

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HSBC cut its target price of the group to 190p ($2.88), down from 220p shortly before market open Tuesday, hitting shares in the firm in early trading. The group recovered some earlier losses to trade down 4 percent at 110p at around midday London time, but remained at the bottom of indices.

An update from Investec, who's bearish note published at the start of last week questioning the sustainability of the group's debt levels sent Glencore's share price to an all-time low, also weighed on the Anglo–Swiss multinational.

"Glencore blames everybody else - Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg has blamed hedge funds for artificially distorting the prices of commodities," analysts at the broker said.

"We maintain our stance that the fall in commodity prices is due to a slowdown in demand, which has always been the reason commodity prices fall when up-cycles come to an end. The ending of the China industrialisation cycle has been particularly vicious as the slowdown in demand has been met with a wall of new supply from new mines - built largely on debt," they added.

Glencore shares have seen severe swings in the last week on the back of concerns surrounding weak commodity prices and a slowdown in China's economy, with shares falling almost 30 percent to an all-time low of 68.6p last Monday, down from its float price of 530p in 2011.

The group then saw a bounce of 20 percent the following day after a host of brokers came out in support of the firm and the company released a statement reassuring investors of its creditworthiness. On Monday Glencore shares surged to close well over 16 percent higher on the London Stock Exchange, having gained as much as 72 percent in Hong Kong overnight on reports that the embattled mining giant was in talks with a few parties, including Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, to sell a stake in its agricultural business to help cut its debt load.