Glencore Plc, the world’s largest commodities trader, has followed some of the world’s biggest companies in overhauling its trading relationship with Russia as the fallout from Ukraine’s invasion intensifies in markets world raw materials.
While Glencore has not abandoned its investments, the company said it is reviewing its stakes in two of Russia’s biggest companies as well as its wider business operations in the country. It’s a dramatic turn for a company that has long been comfortable operating in the toughest jurisdictions and whose former CEO received the Order of Friendship from President Vladimir Putin.
The list of companies cutting ties or revising their operations has grown since the weekend as foreign governments tighten sanctions on Russia and pressure companies to sever ties. Oil majors BP Plc and Shell Plc have already announced their intention to sever relations with their Russian partners after coming under increasing pressure from the British government.
Glencore currently holds a 10.55% stake in En+ Group International PJSC, the majority shareholder of aluminum giant United Co. Rusal International PJSC. He also has a small stake of less than 1% in Russian oil giant Rosneft PJSC. The fair value of the investments at the end of 2021 was $789 million and $485 respectively, Glencore said in its earnings release last month.
“We have no operational footprint in Russia and our business exposure is not material to Glencore,” the company said in a statement Tuesday. “We are reviewing all of our business activities in the country, including our holdings in En+ and Rosneft.”
The company also said it condemns the actions of the Russian government against the Ukrainian people.
Glencore had established lucrative trading relationships in Russia, buying aluminum and oil from one of the world’s largest natural resource producers. The company secured the oil take after the Russian government rushed in 2016 to finalize the planned sale of a 19.5% stake in Rosneft to help reduce the budget deficit.
Glasenberg, who is still Glencore’s second largest shareholder, also served on Rusal’s board until 2018, when the company began to loosen ties with the aluminum producer amid a previous wave of sanctions. Americans.
Aluminum is one of the few products marketed by Glencore that is not supported by large-scale production from its own industrial assets. Glencore and Rusal are long-time partners in the business, and its sourcing from Russia has helped bolster its position as the world’s largest metals trader.
Rusal has announced a $16 billion deal to sell aluminum to Glencore in 2020, which would see it sell about a third of its output to the trader. The deal would last until 2024, with an option to extend it until 2025, Rusal said at the time. It also buys oil from Rosneft, although it does not publicly disclose the volumes it markets.
Glencore’s review is likely to add further turmoil to the aluminum market, with metal prices already at an all-time high. Shipper AP Moller-Maersk A/S said it was halting ship bookings to and from Russia, worsening supply turbulence for buyers who are already facing critical shortages.