Glencore closes in on IPO

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The Independent Online

Glencore, the world's biggest commodities trader, which is moving towards a possible listing next year, saw a 42 per cent rise in net profits over the first nine months of 2010 as commodity prices rallied.

The privately held Swiss group, which owns 34.4 per cent of the London-listed mining giant Xstrata, reported $2.5bn (£1.6bn) in net profits yesterday, while underlying earnings rose by 57 per cent to $4.1bn.

Glencore's third-quarter net profits of $979m were the highest since the economic slump began in 2008. Its net debt rose from $13.6bn in the second quarter to $15.2bn.

The group is preparing to go public and issued a $2.3bn convertible bond last year to investors in the US, China and Singapore. The flotation is expected after Glencore posts annual figures in March or April. Owing to its stake in Xstrata, Glencore has often been talked of as a candidate for a possible merger with the miner, though such a move is not expected until a listing makes it easier to value the business.

The company is expected to look at a dual listing in London and Hong Kong for the estimated £10bn IPO. Analysts have also raised the prospect of Glencore spinning off its gold assets in advance. The group declined to comment on the results or on its listing plans.

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