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46 Ivan Glasenberg, Glencore

Besides a few chartering contracts in the dry bulk arena, the Switzerland-based company headed by Ivan Glasenberg has kept a low profile in shipping

The chief executive may be closer to retiring than previously thought, with reports identifying at least three potential successors

IVAN Glasenberg, Glencore's chief executive since 2002, is closer to retiring as the next decade dawns. 

According to media reports, at least three potential successors have been identified. This time last year, Mr Glasenberg had said he would probably step down in three to five years.

The global commodities trader reported net income attributable to equity shareholders of $226m in the first six months of the year versus $2.8bn a year earlier, mainly due to impairment charges related to Chad oil and its African copper business. 

It reported 11 fatalities from eight incidents, forcing it to review its operational strategy.

“Our performance in the first half reflected a challenging economic backdrop for our commodity mix, as well as operating and cost setbacks within our ramp-up/development assets," Mr Glasenberg said in the half-year financial report.

"Looking ahead, we are confident that commodity fundamentals will move in our favour and that our diverse commodity portfolio will continue to play a key role in global growth and the transition to a low-carbon economy."

Glencore is expecting to produce higher volumes of coal this year, up at about 145m tonnes versus 129m tonnes in 2018. It sees strong demand for premium high-energy coal.

While it sees a small increase in cobalt production this year, it expects deficits in copper, nickel and zinc. It is placing the Mutanda copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in care and maintenance as of the end of the year. 

In terms of shipping, the Switzerland-based company has kept a low profile, apart from a few charter contracts signed in the dry bulk space. 

Its agricultural unit also joined a blockchain initiative launched last year by other global grain merchants to digitalise transactions globally.

Meanwhile, Glencore and Total Gas & Power were the counterparties in the world's first freight derivatives trade for liquefied natural gas, covering the Tokyo-Gladstone route. 

Mr Glasenberg also appeared in the Top 100 in 20102011201220132014201520162017 and 2018.


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