The Week Ahead: Investec sees challenging times for Glencore

Wednesday is also the day that shareholders of Playtech vote on the company’s £460m takeover of troubled trading platform Plus500

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The Independent Online

Glencore shares could come under more pressure on Wednesday if the commodities giant’s half-year results disappoint.

Investec is predicting challenging times for the company, whose share price has dipped below 200p to a record low on concerns over demand from China.

Revenues are expected to come in at $81.5bn (£52.1bn), down from $107bn in the second half of 2014.

Last week, the group took a writedown on Caracal Energy, the Chad-focused oil explorer it bought last year for $1.6bn before the oil price collapsed. It also banked $290m from the sale of a copper project in the Philippines and stakes in two nickel projects– assets Glencore picked up from Xstrata in their 2013 merger.

Yesterday it was reported that the activist investor Harris Associates had built a £250m stake in the company.

Wednesday is also the day that shareholders of Playtech vote on the company’s £460m takeover of troubled trading platform Plus500. The deal, which only requires 50.1 per cent approval, is expected to be given the green light by investors.

Odey Asset Management, which owns more than a quarter of Plus500, first said the £4-a-share price tag undervalued the firm, but eventually chose not to block the deal.

Housebuilders Persimmon and Bovis Homes unveil half-year results this week. Bovis, which brings out its numbers today, said it sold houses at an average of £222,000, up 6 per cent on 2014, while Persimmon, whose figures are out tomorrow, saw the average house sell for £213,000, up 4 per cent.

Car insurer Admiral’s half-year results on Wednesday will be the first since its co-founder Henry Engelhardt announced he was stepping down as chief executive next year. It follows esure’s first-half results, which last week revealed a surge in small injury claims hit profits.

Imperial Tobacco is to update investors on trading on Wednesday. The stock’s defensive appeal has risen recently amid market jitters caused by China’s devaluation of the yuan.

Oil services firm Wood Group’s half-year results are out tomorrow.

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