|Bid||286.65 x 0|
|Ask||286.70 x 0|
|Day's range||283.15 - 288.06|
|52-week range||2.44 - 329.26|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.62|
|PE ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings date||16 Feb 2021|
|Forward dividend & yield||0.09 (3.00%)|
|Ex-dividend date||22 Apr 2021|
|1y target est||4.95|
(Bloomberg) -- Anglo American Plc will separate its South African coal mines into a new business this year, as the company accelerates its response to investor pressure over the most-polluting fuel.Anglo has been plotting an exit from thermal coal for more than a year and has always said separating its South African business was the most likely outcome. Anglo will still own a coal mine in Colombia that it’s also planning to sell and coking coal mines in Australia, used to make steel rather than burned for power.The new business, called Thungela Resources Ltd., will be listed in Johannesburg and London in June, the miner said in a statement on Thursday. Investors will receive one Thungela share for every ten Anglo American shares that they hold. Anglo executive July Ndlovu has been named chief executive officer.Anglo rose 1.8% at 11:18 a.m. in London.The world’s biggest miners have been looking to exit thermal coal as more investors say they don’t want exposure to the fuel. Anglo has already dramatically reduced its production in recent years, cutting output by more than half.However, CEO Mark Cutifani has previously acknowledged that the company probably missed the best opportunity to get the highest price for the assets. Instead, he said the focus was on handing over the mines in a responsible way.“We did have some bids but in the end we felt the best option was to de-merger and make sure the business was set up with no debt, give it a running start,” Cutifani said during a conference call. “Its the best way to set them up for future success and at the same time making sure we stick to our commitments to all our stakeholders.”Read more: Stuck With Coal Pits the World Needs, But Few WantThe spinoff plan is also a nod to Anglo’s relationship with South Africa, the country where it was founded more than 100 years ago. Some of its biggest South African investors have long pushed for Anglo to create a mining champion from its local assets, rather then sell them off piecemeal.It’s also the latest in a series of deals by international resource companies selling out of South African coal. Anglo previously sold a group of mines to Seriti Resources Holdings Ltd. The company has also been approved to acquire more mines from South32 Ltd. The exodus began when Total SA sold its assets to Exxaro Resources Ltd. in 2014.Of course, Anglo’s exit won’t affect the emissions caused by the thermal coal produced from the mines, which will continue running under Thungela. But the company says its plan gives investors greater choice in deciding whether or not to support the coal business.“The proposed demerger recognizes the diverse range of views held by Anglo American’s shareholders in relation to thermal coal,” the company said. The plan “provides the choice to act on such views and, following the implementation of the proposed demerger, to either retain, increase or decrease their interests in Thungela.”Exiting the BusinessRival Rio Tinto Group sold its last coal mine in 2018, and BHP Group is also in the process of exiting the business. That would leave Glencore Plc, the world’s biggest thermal coal shipper, as the last major miner in industry. Glencore has instead committed to run down its assets by 2050 and in doing so become carbon neutral.While Anglo has now made clear plans for South Africa, getting out of Colombia is more difficult. The company owns the Cerrejon mine in partnership with Glencore and BHP. The operation predominantly ships to Europe, where the coal market has been hit hard by cheap natural gas prices, potentially limiting the pool of interested buyers.Anglo said it will put about $170 million into the new business and could top that up next year if thermal coal prices fall below a certain level.(Updates with CEO comment from sixth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- In late 2019 Gunvor Group Ltd., one of the world’s biggest oil traders, said it would make a clean break from the past by settling a long-running bribery case in Africa.“We need to take our experience in Congo very seriously and learn our lessons from that,” Torbjorn Tornqvist, Gunvor’s co-founder, chairman and chief executive, said in an interview at the time. “We must make sure we never find ourselves in that situation again.”It turns out that even as the company was pledging to overhaul and strengthen its compliance department, a former employee was making corrupt payments to government officials in Ecuador to win oil deals.The scandal adds yet another black eye to an industry that has tried and largely failed to shake off the perception it has a shady past, personified by the buccaneering template drawn by industry pioneer and former fugitive from U.S. prosecutors Marc Rich.It also underscores the new aggressive stance U.S. authorities are taking with investigations against commodities traders amid a raft of legal probes, criminal charges and settlement deals.Guilty PleaGunvor, which is based in Switzerland, said it is cooperating with a U.S. Department of Justice investigation after Raymond Kohut admitted to paying more than $22 million in bribes to government officials in Ecuador to win business from the state-owned oil company. The former Gunvor employee told a U.S. judge that he conspired with others including intermediary business development “agents” in the scheme between 2012 and 2020.A Canadian citizen, Kohut now faces more than two decades in prison under U.S. sentencing guidelines.Oil traders play a critical role as middlemen in the transportation of crude oil and fuels from producers and refineries to end users. They’ve thrived during the pandemic taking advantage of wild price swings to rack-up some of their best profits in history.But despite long-running efforts to open up and be more transparent, trading houses’ legal woes have continued.Gunvor paid $95 million to Swiss investigators in 2019 to settle the African bribery case. The guilty plea from its former employee this week shows there are plenty of lessons still to be learned.“Gunvor takes compliance very seriously and maintains a zero-tolerance approach, which is why we’ve banned outright the use of agents,” a company spokesman said.Kohut, now 68, served as a business development employee at Gunvor before retiring and being rehired as a business agent, the Gunvor spokesman said. The company terminated its relationship with the agent or agents involved in the Ecuador bribes due to compliance reasons, before it learned of the DoJ investigation, the spokesman said. He wouldn’t specify when that happened.Thriving TradersIn 2020, Gunvor enjoyed one of its best ever annual trading results. Many of its peers have also thrived during the pandemic, but been tainted by new scandals.Vitol Group, the world’s biggest independent oil trader, enjoyed its highest annual profit ever during 2020, earning about $3 billion, according to people familiar with the company’s results. It also settled a sprawling bribery case during the year, agreeing to pay $160 million as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the DoJ in which it admitted to paying bribes in Brazil, Mexico and Ecuador for years and as recently as July, 2020.Trafigura Group, the second-largest independent oil and metals trader, reported a record trading result in its fiscal 2020 year. It also faces charges in Brazil that it paid kickbacks to win business with the state oil company. Trafigura, which is based in Singapore but houses most of its top executives at its headquarters in Geneva, has denied the allegations.The world’s biggest commodities trader, London-listed Glencore Plc posted its biggest trading profits in a decade. It has also grappled with a host of legal issues in the U.S. and other jurisdictions. Last month, a former Glencore trader was charged with conspiracy to manipulate a key oil benchmark. Glencore has said it is cooperating with the investigation.The company is also part of a wide-ranging probe by the U.S. DoJ on allegations of bribery and money laundering. Authorities in the U.K., Switzerland and Brazil are also investigating the commodity trader.The new Gunvor case adds more fuel to traders’ legal fires while giving further credence to calls for regulation. As Tornqvist told the authors of the recent book The World For Sale, it’s possible that the industry will face further scandals.“Unfortunately this is something that has plagued the commodity industry,” he said. “There’s a lot of skeletons and many of them, most of them, will never be surfaced.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- An ex-Gunvor Group Ltd employee admitted paying more than $22 million in bribes to government officials in Ecuador to win business from state-owned oil company Petroecuador.Raymond Kohut, 68, told a U.S. judge on Tuesday that he and his bosses conspired to pay the bribes from 2012 to 2020.Gunvor, one of the five-largest independent oil traders, said Tuesday it is cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department’s probe. The company said it “terminated its relationship” with business-development agents involved in the case before learning of the investigation because of compliance issues.Kohut, a Canadian citizen who worked out of the Bahamas, faces more than two decades in prison under U.S. sentencing guidelines. He no longer works for the firm.“Gunvor has further taken steps to ban outright the use of agents for business development purposes,” the company said in a statement.The case, part of a broad U.S. probe into bribes paid to South American officials, is the latest in a string of cases the U.S. has brought against those in the commodity trading industry, as authorities around the world step up scrutiny of the notoriously opaque business.In December, Vitol Group, the world’s largest independent oil trading house, agreed to pay $160 million after it admitted paying bribes in Latin America and attempting to manipulate U.S. oil markets. In March, a former senior oil trader at Glencore Plc, the world’s largest commodity trader, pleaded guilty in California to manipulating the fuel-oil market in Los Angeles.Read More: Oil Trader Gunvor Hires New Chiefs to Push Past Bribery ScandalIn the latest case, U.S. prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, outlined a years-long scheme involving Kohut and “others,” along with the energy company Kohut worked for. The government didn’t name Gunvor in court papers. A person familiar with the case identified the firm.“The defendant and others are charged as being part of a bribery and money-laundering conspiracy to, among other things, pay more than $22 million in bribes to Ecuadorian government officials,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Bini told the judge at a plea hearing held over video conference.Kohut, who focused on business development, worked for Gunvor as an employee and independent contractor from 2012 to mid-2019. In court, he said he conspired with two consultants he didn’t name to help funnel bribes to Ecuadorian officials working with Petroecuador. His bosses were told the payments were “consulting fees.”“I agreed to participate in the scheme with consultants,” he said.Adam Fels, Kohut’s lawyer, didn’t immediately return email and voice-mail messages after court.Previously, Gunvor agreed to pay $95 million in 2019 to settle a Swiss investigation into bribes paid to officials in the Republic of Congo and the Ivory Coast to win oil deals.The case is U.S. v. Kohut, 21-cr-115, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).(Updates with background of U.S. probes)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.