LONDON (Reuters) - Glencore (GLEN.L) said on Wednesday the sale of the bulk of its stake in Russia’s Rosneft to the Qatari sovereign wealth fund is due to close in the second half of this year, as the Swiss company loses its spot as the world’s second-largest oil trader.
Glencore reported a slump in its traded oil volumes for the first half, pushing it into third place behind rivals Vitol and Trafigura.
Qatar’s fund QIA initially bought 19.5 percent in Rosneft together with Glencore in a consortium named QHG for 10.2 billion euros (9.5 billion pounds) during the Russian firm’s partial privatisation in 2016.
From that stake, QHG last year agreed to sell a 14.16 percent holding to CEFC China Energy but the deal fell through after CEFC’s founder was put under investigation by Chinese authorities over suspected economic crimes.
QIA then said it would buy the holding instead of CEFC, leaving Glencore with 0.57 percent.
“In April 2018, QHG concluded an agreement with QIA to dispose the majority of its shares held in Rosneft, representing a 14.16 percent stake. The transaction, subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected to complete in H2 2018,” Glencore said.
Glencore’s crude trading volumes in the first half fell 24 percent to about 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) and refined products were down 23 percent at 2.1 million bpd compared to the same period in 2017.
Vitol traded over 7 million bpd of crude and products last year, while Trafigura reported a 16 percent increase in the first half to 5.8 million bpd.
Glencore reported a 23 percent rise in first-half core earnings on Wednesday, just below analyst forecasts, as higher costs and lower prices for cobalt and other products ate into profits.
Other big miners have said inflationary pressures are mounting, including from energy prices, as crude prices LCOc1 have risen nearly 13 percent this year, while metals markets are mostly weaker.
Reporting by Julia Payne; Editing by Dale Hudson