Glencore announces $1 billion share buyback

Glencore shares up 17% since the start of the year

Ivan Glasenberg, the billionaire creator and chief executive of Glencore, has managed to do what few of his rival global miners have recently and gave investors a reason to cheer.

Just a day after rival BHP Billiton detailed the $15 billion (£9 billion) spin-off of its smaller businesses to a less-than-ecstatic reaction from shareholders, Glasenberg upped the ante with a $1 billion buyback of Glencore shares.

Barclays mining analysts judged the mood, commenting: “Finally someone is listening to shareholders.”

Glencore shares rose 2p to 360p and are up 17 per cent since the start of the year. BHP Billiton shares, by contrast, fell 5 per cent yesterday and dipped again today. They are up less than 5 per cent this year.

Glencore’s first-half earnings after tax rose 12 per cent to $2 billion, which was slightly ahead of market forecasts. Commodities trading was the powerhouse with mining for industry putting in a slower but again better-than-expected performance.

Glasenberg said: “Glencore continued to make decisive progress in delivering on the potential created by the Xstrata acquisition over the first half of 2014.”

He was also upbeat on prospects, saying supply in many  commodities was coming back to demand levels, having outstripped them since 2010.