8GC.F - Glencore plc

Frankfurt - Frankfurt Delayed Price. Currency in EUR
-0.0540 (-1.94%)
At close: 7:54PM CET
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close2.7835
Bid2.7260 x 2000000
Ask2.7300 x 2000000
Day's Range2.7000 - 2.8235
52 Week Range2.3585 - 3.9515
Avg. Volume51,490
Market Cap37.226B
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.50
PE Ratio (TTM)44.02
EPS (TTM)0.0620
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield0.18 (6.53%)
Ex-Dividend DateSep 05, 2019
1y Target EstN/A
  • Glencore sees first loss in four years
    Reuters Videos

    Glencore sees first loss in four years

    Glencore posted its first annual loss in four years on Tuesday (February 18). The world's biggest commodities trader took a 2.8 billion dollar charge over problems including the closure of its African copper business. That took it to a net loss of 404 million dollars, from a profit of over 3.4 billion dollars a year earlier. Glencore has also been battered by falling demand for coal in Europe, as climate change fears mount. And it faces multiple corruption probes in Nigeria, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now questions are being asked about the future of boss and number two shareholder Ivan Glasenberg. Back in 2018 he said he would step aside in three-to-five years. On Tuesday he would only answer 'don't know' when asked if he would quit this year. Glencore shares were down about 4% in morning trade.

  • Oil Stalls After Rosneft Sanctions Offset Virus-Led Demand Fears

    Oil Stalls After Rosneft Sanctions Offset Virus-Led Demand Fears

    (Bloomberg) -- Oil ended Tuesday’s session flat after American sanctions on Russia’s largest oil producer helped to erase losses driven by lingering concerns that coronavirus will cut demand.The U.S. sanctioned a unit of Russia’s Rosneft PJSC for maintaining ties with Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and its state-run oil company. The restrictions come with a three-month wind-down period that expires May 20.“These sanctions will be supportive for prices,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group. “Ultimately, Russia does not want to be on the wrong side of the energy trade.”The sanctions on Rosneft represent the latest effort by the U.S. government to increase pressure on Nicolas Maduro’s regime. Rosneft called the sanctions illegal and ungrounded. The tensions also come at a time when oil markets are awaiting a response from OPEC+ on production cuts. Russia, one of the largest exporters in the coalition, has been reluctant to curb oil output past the current production cuts.Prices have lost about 15% since the beginning of the year on fears the coronavirus outbreak will squeeze global demand for crude.While China reported the lowest number of new cases since announcing a change in its method of detection last week, the outbreak continues to weigh on commodities. ING Bank NV cut its Brent and WTI oil forecasts, with oil demand set to remain weak due to the outbreak, analyst Warren Patterson wrote in a report.West Texas Intermediate futures for March delivery settled at $52.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. There was no settlement Monday due to the Presidents’ Day holiday in the U.S.Brent for April delivery rose 8 cents to $57.75 on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange putting the premium over WTI’s contract for the same month at $5.46.\--With assistance from Grant Smith.To contact the reporter on this story: Jackie Davalos in New York at jdavalos10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at jherron9@bloomberg.net, Catherine Traywick, Carlos CaminadaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Climate Change Is Squeezing Glencore’s Coal Business

    Climate Change Is Squeezing Glencore’s Coal Business

    (Bloomberg) -- Climate change and rock-bottom gas prices are taking a toll on Glencore Plc’s coal business.The world’s biggest coal shipper cut the value of its Colombian business -- which mostly sells to Europe -- by almost $1 billion as it adjusts to the struggling market. It also plans to stop mining coal in Colombia in next 15 years.The announcement is another example of how Europe’s dwindling demand for coal is reshaping the global energy industry as politicians pledge to make Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent and phase out fossil fuels. A glut of natural gas, along with a milder winter, and higher costs for carbon-emissions allowances, has tilted the economics of generating electricity away from coal and toward using more gas.Investors are also piling on pressure over climate change impacts and last year Glencore agreed to cap coal production. But it’s the economics that are proving decisive.Read: BlackRock Puts Climate at Center of $7 Trillion Strategy“The Atlantic coal market, I don’t see a big recovery,” Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg said on Tuesday. “It’s clear the amount of coal being consumed in the Atlantic is decreasing.”Glencore shares slumped 4.7% on Tuesday.To be sure, Glencore remains committed to its highly profitable coal business. The company’s Australian mines are some of the best in the world and feed directly into Asia.Under billionaire former coal trader Glasenberg, the company has been a staunch defender of the fuel saying it’s essential to providing affordable and reliable power in developing countries. The commodities giant says demand will keep growing for years as countries such as China, Vietnam and India continue to roll out new coal power plants.“The world still needs coal,” Glasenberg said on Tuesday. “We will remain in the business while the world requires this lower-priced energy.”The collapse of European coal demand is not just a headache for Glencore.BHP Group, the biggest mining company, is looking to exit the business. One of its assets is Cerrejon, a mine in Colombia it owns with Glencore and Anglo American Plc. In the current market, there are few natural buyers.Anglo is also planning to get out of thermal coal mining in the next few years. The company may have missed the opportunity to get the best price for its business, CEO Mark Cutifani said earlier this month.“It would be easier to take a step in one hit, but you have to work with governments, you have to work with employees, you have to work with local communities,” Cutifani said. “But the process is more important to us long term.”For now, Glencore has no plans to follow its rivals and quit coal, not even its struggling Colombian mines.“As long as they continue to generate a return, then we’ll continue to deplete those resources,”said Chief Financial Officer Steven Kalmin.(Updates with share price in fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Biesheuvel in London at tbiesheuvel@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net, Liezel HillFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Barrons.com

    Glencore Stock Slides as Weak Commodity Prices and Trade Tensions Lead to First Loss in Four Years

    Glencore stock slid on Tuesday as the mining giant posted its first annual loss in four years due to weaker commodity prices and global trade tensions.

  • Financial Times

    Glencore chief dismisses BP’s net zero emissions target

    Glencore’s billionaire chief has taken a swipe at BP, dismissing the oil major’s plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 as “wishy washy”. , Ivan Glasenberg said 2050 was a “long way” off and Glencore preferred to be “precise and factual” when talking about measures to reduce its carbon footprint. “Let’s talk about what we are actually doing,” said Mr Glasenberg.

  • Glencore Writes Down Coal, Oil and Freezes Share Buybacks

    Glencore Writes Down Coal, Oil and Freezes Share Buybacks

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Glencore Plc posted a lackluster set of results by announcing a $2.8 billion writedown on coal, oil and copper assets and freezing share buybacks. The results show the world’s biggest commodities trader is struggling in the face of sliding raw material prices and multiple corruption and bribery investigations around the world. The one bright spot was Glencore’s flagship trading business, which was helped by a strong year in oil.“We’ll see how it looks going through the year, but we would like to do buybacks at some stage,” said Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg. “If the balance sheet and the free cash flow allows us to do it, we’ll do it.”Still, overall the future of Glencore is marked by uncertainty. Glasenberg is planning to step down soon and several of his top lieutenants have already left. Glencore’s massive coal business is also facing risks as investors and activists pressure companies to do more on climate change.The shares slid 1.5% to 233 pence as of 8:01 a.m. in London.For a Top Live blog of Glencore’s results, click here.While Glencore’s biggest rivals are in the process of exiting coal, Glencore has been a staunch defender, saying it’s essential to providing affordable and reliable power in developing countries.“The world still needs coal,” Glasenberg said on Tuesday. “We will remain in the business while the world requires this lower-priced energy.”Even so, Glencore is charting a long-term retreat from coal. So-called Scope 3 emissions will fall by 30% in the next 15 years, predominantly as a result of depleting mines in Colombia and South Africa, the company said.Glencore took big writedowns on its two key Colombian coal mines, Prodeco and Cerrejon. The mines predominantly ship to Europe where the coal market has been hit hard by cheap gas prices. The company also lowered the value of its oil business in Chad, which it’s looking to exit, and a copper business in the Democratic Republic of Congo.Glencore’s net debt of $17.6 billion came just above the target range of $10 billion to $16 billion. While the increase is partly due to new accounting standards, investors will have to wait for debt to fall before Glencore commits to a new buyback.The company also said in the report that it’s “closely watching coronavirus developments and potential scenario impacts on global growth and markets and what adjustments, if any, are appropriate in our business planning.”The impact of the coronavirus in China is “a bit unclear,” said Glasenberg. “In some commodities we have not seen an impact, orders are continuing, other commodities are slowing down.”Financial HighlightsAdjusted Ebitda for 2019 was $11.6 billion, the lowest in three years. It was a small beat compared with estimates.Trading profit was $2.4 billion, near the bottom of its long-term range.Glencore reiterated its guidance for the trading business of $2.2 billion to $3.2 billion. It didn’t give any additional guidance within that range.(Updates with share price in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Biesheuvel in London at tbiesheuvel@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Glencore plans leadership shakeup this year, says CEO

    Glencore plans leadership shakeup this year, says CEO

    Glencore will make more changes to its front bench this year, Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg said on Tuesday, as the world's largest commodities trader hastens a transition to a new generation of leaders. Colombia accounted for about 17% of Glencore's coal production in 2019.

  • Glencore Sees Carbon Emissions Falling as Coal Mines Fade Away

    Glencore Sees Carbon Emissions Falling as Coal Mines Fade Away

    (Bloomberg) -- Glencore Plc, the world’s biggest shipper of thermal coal, has mapped out cuts in carbon emissions generated by its customers as the company slowly retreats from the dirtiest fuel.The world’s biggest resource companies, from miners to oil majors, are under increasing pressure to account for the pollution created when their customers burn or process the materials they produce.Glencore said on Tuesday its so-called Scope 3 emissions will fall by 30% in the next 15 years, predominantly as a result of depleting mines in Colombia and South Africa. That’s a projection based on its current mine plans, rather than a fixed target. Glencore did not say how much coal production would be cut to meet the projection.Glencore has faced the brunt of a growing investor concern about climate change. While its biggest rivals are in the process of exiting coal, Glencore has been a staunch defender of the fuel, saying it’s essential to providing affordable and reliable power in developing countries.Still, the commodity trader’s billionaire chief executive officer, Ivan Glasenberg, has been forced to make concessions to keep investors. Last year, Glencore agreed to cap coal production, albeit above its current output level.The mining industry has yet to find common ground on how to deal with scope 3 emissions. BHP Group in July called on the mining sector to take ownership of emissions that result from product sales, a stance that’s been rejected by some rivals who argue it’s too difficult to calculate a supplier’s share. Rio Tinto Group is partnering with a Chinese steelmaker to develop methods to cut pollution and improve the steel industry’s environmental performance, while Vale SA has said it will develop ambitious targets to cut Scope 3 emissions.Arguably, the Scope 3 emissions of the oil industry are even more difficult to calculate. That hasn’t stopped companies like Repsol SA and BP Plc from setting net-zero emissions targets for all the oil and gas they extract and their customers burn.Glencore said the reduction in emissions will derive mainly from its Colombian coal assets, and to a lesser extent from its South African and Australian mines. The Colombian market is currently under pressure as it predominantly ships to Europe where countries are cutting their use of the fuel, while South Africa has challenges with labor relations and government policies.Why ‘Scope’ Matters for Oil Companies Cutting Carbon: QuickTake“Our capital expenditure reflects significant current investments towards growth in production of battery and conductive materials required for the transition to a lower carbon economy,” Glencore said in the statement.\--With assistance from Akshat Rathi.To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Biesheuvel in London at tbiesheuvel@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net, Dylan Griffiths, Nicholas LarkinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Glencore: old king coal

    Swiss mining and trading giant Glencore was the latest to wield the paint brush, delivering earnings after a tough year. The mining and trading business is touting a projected 30 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, including those of its customers, by 2035. Tough boss Ivan Glasenberg thinks targets to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, such as that set by BP last week, lack conviction.

  • Bloomberg

    BHP Can Afford to Go a Lot Greener

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Mike Henry has kicked off his tenure at the helm of the world’s largest miner with a 29% increase in first-half earnings. That laudable result was fueled by iron ore, a steelmaking ingredient. BHP Group’s promised climate targets remain a work in progress. It’s a striking contrast with BP Plc’s Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney, who started in the top job this month with a green splash. BHP would do well to seize the initiative as details unfold in the critical months ahead.Looney and Henry are, in a way, brothers in arms. Both are company veterans, at the top of $120 billion-plus resources heavyweights. Both took over this year from chief executives who came in to tackle crises, and start in a better financial position than their predecessors. Both are trying to juggle competing demands for stable production, generous payouts and the need to prepare for a carbon-light future. For both, that’s how success will be measured.The bar is low in the resources industry, which has long avoided tackling its responsibilities for the grim reality of a warmer climate. In that context, BHP and BP are both ahead of the pack. Melbourne-based BHP said last year it would hit net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 for its own operations, and announced it would begin to tackle carbon produced by its customers. It had already said 2022 emissions from its mines and wells would be at or below 2017 levels. Plus, the Australian company plans to tie executive compensation more closely to climate goals. London-based BP, meanwhile, has set net-zero targets by 2050 for a wider set of emissions, partly encompassing its supply chain. Only Spain’s Repsol SA, far smaller, has been more ambitious.Lofty vision is the easy bit. Assuming they stay in place as long as their predecessors, Henry and Looney will preside over a decade that will determine the success or failure of efforts to address climate change. They, and their companies’ stock valuations, will stand apart if their efforts help investors price risk appropriately, and shed light on the future shape of the companies. Details matter more than early headlines. That means clear, measurable targets for all categories of emissions. It means a plan for fossil fuel-heavy portfolios. It means a commitment to justify spending decisions with green goals in mind, as BP and Glencore Plc have agreed to do. It’s a gargantuan challenge. First, because investors want everything: bumper earnings, hefty dividends and a future-proof business. That may not be possible. BHP’s interim figure Tuesday already disappointed some.Then, consider much of the environmental damage is done beyond the mine gate, and is therefore harder to control. For BP, those wider emissions amount to just under 90% of the total. For BHP, it’s even worse: For the 2019 financial year, it said the processing of non-fossil fuel commodities added as much as 305 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, and fossil fuel use added up to 233 million. There’s some double counting here, so the figures can’t be combined, but Australia’s total, for comparison, was just under 540 million metric tons for the year through March 2019.That means credible efforts to turn BHP’s operations greener, like the use of electric cars at its Olympic Dam project in Australia or the move to renewable energy at the Escondida copper mine in Chile. While welcome, such moves aren’t sufficient. The same goes for a $400 million, five-year climate investment program.The task over the coming months will be to come up with with measurable ambitions for the short, medium and long term, for both operational emissions and beyond. Those will need to link back to remuneration packages that also tie executives in for longer.In tandem, Henry will have to tackle BHP’s portfolio. The former head of BHP’s Minerals Australia arm said Tuesday that he wanted more options in “future facing” metals, specifically copper and nickel, used in wind turbines, solar power and rechargeable batteries. That’s encouraging, but competition is tough and scale may be smaller than the miner would prefer. Henry will also have to make a decision on the company’s Jansen potash project in the coming months.The remaining assets are a pricklier problem, including the future of oil and coal. BHP has lagged behind rivals like Rio Tinto Group, which sold its last thermal coal mine in 2018. Buyers for its thermal assets, including Mount Arthur Coal and a third of Cerrejon in Colombia, are proving scarce. It may not want to make the same mistake with metallurgical coal, even if for now margins are sounder, and substitution is difficult.All of this needs to be done against a challenging background for the commodities industry, buffeted by the coronavirus epidemic sweeping China, the world’s biggest importer of coal, iron ore and oil. BHP, with a lucrative copper business and a healthy balance sheet, has options. Henry can afford to be bold. To contact the author of this story: Clara Ferreira Marques at cferreirama@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at mbrooker1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Clara Ferreira Marques is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities and environmental, social and governance issues. Previously, she was an associate editor for Reuters Breakingviews, and editor and correspondent for Reuters in Singapore, India, the U.K., Italy and Russia.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Glencore’s coal business in the spotlight

    Glencore’s thermal coal business will be in the spotlight this week when the miner and commodity trader announces its annual results. The Switzerland-based company is the world’s biggest exporter of thermal coal, which is burnt in power stations to generate electricity. of thermal and metallurgical coal at 150m tonnes a year and on Tuesday will publish projections for reducing “Scope 3” emissions, which include those produced by customers.

  • Glencore secures five-year deal to supply cobalt to Samsung SDI

    Glencore secures five-year deal to supply cobalt to Samsung SDI

    Glencore signed a five-year deal to supply battery maker Samsung SDI with up to 21,000 tonnes of cobalt, the miner and trader said on Monday. In the last year, Glencore has agreed cobalt supply deals with battery maker SK Innovation, China's GEM Co Ltd, Umicore and BMW. Glencore produced 46,300 tonnes of cobalt in 2019, up 10% from the previous year and but expects to churn out 29,000 tonnes this year after shutting as its Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • Glencore's 2019 cobalt up, copper down; share price rises

    Glencore's 2019 cobalt up, copper down; share price rises

    Glencore said its 2019 copper output fell 6% and battery mineral cobalt rose 10% as it boosted production at its Katanga mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, offsetting the impact of the early closure of another operation. The news drove Glencore's shares 5% higher by 1000 GMT, outperforming London peers, as analysts took the view Glencore was overcoming operational problems in Africa. The miner shut its Mutanda mine in Congo ahead of schedule in November in response to falling cobalt prices and rising costs and taxes.

  • Reuters

    En+ raises stake in Rusal to 57% after Glencore asset swap

    Russia's En+ Group has raised its stake in aluminium giant Rusal to 56.88% after completing an asset swap with Glencore, part of a deal that has helped companies controlled by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska to ward off U.S. sanctions. En+ Group and Glencore agreed in 2017 that Glencore would swap its 8.75% stake in Rusal for shares in En+ Group, an aluminium and hydropower group controlled by Deripaska, following En+'s initial public offering.

  • Reuters

    Congo creates state monopoly for artisanal cobalt

    Democratic Republic of Congo has granted a monopoly to a new state-owned company to purchase and market all cobalt that is not mined industrially in an effort to exert greater influence over prices, a government decree shows. The November decree, seen by Reuters on Friday, creates a new subsidiary of state mining company Gecamines with exclusive rights to sell artisanally-mined "strategic minerals", such as cobalt, a key component in electric car batteries. It also aims to exert greater state oversight of working conditions in the artisanal sector, which has been plagued by instances of child labour and other abuses.

  • Why Glencore plc’s (LON:GLEN) Return On Capital Employed Looks Uninspiring
    Simply Wall St.

    Why Glencore plc’s (LON:GLEN) Return On Capital Employed Looks Uninspiring

    Today we'll evaluate Glencore plc (LON:GLEN) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. In...

  • Reuters

    INSIGHT-Struggling state-owned firms hold Balkan economies back

    The aluminium smelter in the Bosnian town of Mostar has fallen eerily silent since its electricity was cut in July. The closure of debt-laden Aluminij Mostar is symptomatic of the challenges facing countries across the Balkans as they try to keep loss-making state-owned businesses inherited from the communist era afloat in market economies. The demise of the aluminium exporter also shows how 25 years after the end of the Bosnian war, everything from ethnic rifts to weak corporate governance to corruption are hindering growth, just as the world economy is slowing and European Union membership looks ever more remote.

  • Bloomberg

    Glencore Appoints CEO Glasenberg’s Nephew to Run Oil Assets

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Ivan Glasenberg appointed his nephew as head of oil assets at Glencore Plc, the latest changing of the guard in the senior ranks of the world’s largest commodity trader.Colin Glasenberg, who joined Glencore’s energy business in 2011, is now part of senior management and oversees oil fields in Chad and Equatorial Guinea.The appointment reflects a change in the management structure of the oil division. In June, Glencore announced it would split the role of department chief in two, and name separate executives to run trading and assets. In the past, the head of oil was in charge of both. Alex Sanna oversees Glencore’s oil trading business.Glencore hasn’t made a public statement on the promotion, but did update the corporate website in October or November to add Colin Glasenberg’s name under executives running industrial assets, according to older versions of the website captured by the nonprofit Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.In another personnel change, Mike Westerman was named acting head of copper assets. The role was previously held by Mike Ciricillo.A spokesman for Glencore declined to comment.New GenerationThe promotions come as Glencore goes through a wider generational shift. In the past two years, several top lieutenants and billionaire shareholders such as former head of oil Alex Beard and copper chief Telis Mistakidis have retired and a new class of executives has been promoted to take their place.The company is also under pressure from legal challenges, as it faces corruption and bribery investigations in the U.S., Brazil and U.K.Ivan Glasenberg, Glencore’s second-biggest shareholder with a 9.1% stake, has hinted that he may step down in the next year. The leading candidates for the CEO job are Gary Nagle, Kenny Ives and Nico Paraskevas, Bloomberg reported last year.Colin Glasenberg reports to Peter Freyberg, Glencore’s head of industrial assets. His background bears some similarity to his uncle. Both have an MBA from the University of Southern California and have previously worked as accountants. Before joining Glencore and Morgan Stanley, the younger Glasenberg worked for three years at PricewaterhouseCoopers in South Africa as an accountant.Although Glencore is a giant in oil trading, its industrial assets in energy are small. The commodity trader is seeking a buyer for its oilfields in Chad.To contact the reporters on this story: Javier Blas in London at jblas3@bloomberg.net;Jack Farchy in London at jfarchy@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net, Lynn Thomasson, Nicholas LarkinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Oil Traders Made Billions in 2019 as Conflict Shook the Market

    Oil Traders Made Billions in 2019 as Conflict Shook the Market

    (Bloomberg) -- The world’s largest energy traders enjoyed one of their best ever years in 2019 as pipeline outages, dramatic changes in ship fuel regulations and Middle East conflicts shook up the global oil market.The bonanza extended beyond the independent traders like Vitol Group and Trafigura Group Ltd. to the in-house units of oil giants Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and BP Plc, which made billions of dollars in profits.“By all accounts, 2019 was among the best years ever for the energy trading industry,” said Marco Dunand, the chief executive of Mercuria Energy Group Ltd., one of the five largest independent oil traders.For the independents, the bumper year all but guarantees a fat bonus season for a group of companies that’s largely owned by their executives and senior staff. For the European oil companies, the trading boom will help Shell, BP and Total to weather a tough year in other parts of their business.In interviews with senior traders and top executives, the consensus is that the industry benefited from a lucky mix of factors in the oil market. Recent investments in trading natural gas, power and liquefied natural gas also started to bear fruit.First, a series of supply outages boosted the premiums that oil refiners pay over the benchmark price for some crudes. Early in 2019, Washington imposed sanctions on Venezuela, disrupting flows. Then, Russian shipments into Europe via the key Druzhba pipeline were halted after oil was tainted with a corrosive pollutant. And in September, Saudi exports were hindered after a terrorist attack against the country’s most important petroleum facility.Some traders also profited from the so-called IMO2020 rules that force the world’s merchant shipping fleet to use fuel with a lower sulfur content. The rules have upended the oil-refining and maritime industries, causing gyrations in the price of fuel-oil and marine diesel.The results provide some breathing room for a sector that’s under assault from falling margins. Brent crude, the world’s most important benchmark, traded in a relatively narrow range of $52.51 to $75.60 a barrel through the year.Vitol, Glencore, Shell, BP and Total all declined to comment on their results.The trend was already clear in the results of Trafigura, which reports earlier than others due to a fiscal year ending in September. Trafigura said its oil unit delivered a record gross profit of $1.7 billion last year.$1 Billion YearElsewhere executives also expect a stellar year, even as they caution that they haven’t yet audited their financial statements or decided on the final writedowns against 2019 results. The oil-trading unit of Glencore Plc., for example, enjoyed its best ever result, according to people familiar with the matter. One person said Glencore expects to report earnings before interest and taxes of more than $1 billion in oil trading.At Gunvor, chief executive Torbjorn Tornqvist said 2019 was “up there among the best years ever” for the trading house, in part thanks to its expansion into LNG, super-cooled natural gas that can be transported by vessel. “We have a good year across the board.”Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trader, expects to report earnings near $2 billion, one of its best results, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mercuria also enjoyed a “very good year,” its chief executive said.Inside Big Oil, it was also a trading bonanza. Although better known for their oil fields, refineries and pump stations, Shell, BP and Total also run in-house trading businesses that are larger than the better-known independent dealers. Shell alone trades the equivalent of 13 million barrels a day of oil, dwarfing the nearly 7.5 million barrels a day at Vitol.For BP and Shell, 2019 was one of the best years ever in trading, making several billions dollars, according to two people familiar with the matter. Shell alone made at least $1 billion in fuel-oil trading linked to the IMO2020 changes.The results came despite mounting legal and regulatory pressures on some of the biggest trading houses. Glencore is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Meanwhile, Vitol and Trafigura had their Geneva offices raided by Swiss prosecutors as part of a bribery investigation in Brazil. And Gunvor had to pay $95 million in Switzerland to settle a case that saw a former employee pay bribes to secure oil deals in the Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast.\--With assistance from Andy Hoffman, Jack Farchy, Ronan Martin and Francois de Beaupuy.To contact the reporter on this story: Javier Blas in Davos at jblas3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net, Emma Ross-Thomas, Helen RobertsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    RPT-IMF aid to Congo Republic on hold over Glencore, Trafigura impasse

    LONDON/JOHANNESBURG, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Talks to salvage a tentative $1.7 billion debt restructuring between Congo Republic and energy traders Glencore and Trafigura are stuck, sources said, jeopardising an International Monetary Fund bailout for the debt-hobbled nation.

  • Reuters

    Congo Rep. debt could be one-third higher than IMF estimate - campaign group

    Congo Republic's public debt could be more than one-third higher than the International Monetary Fund estimated when it awarded a bailout last year because of liabilities held by the state oil company, environmental and rights group Global Witness said on Monday. If confirmed, this increase could hinder the OPEC producer's economic recovery from a downturn that began in 2014 when oil prices dropped sharply, causing debt levels to balloon to 118% of GDP in 2017. The IMF plan for Congo Republic was agreed last year after Brazzaville renegotiated a portion of its Chinese debt.