London – Glencore, the Swiss commodities trader and miner seeking to reduce its $30 billion debt load, signed new loan commitments to replace an existing $8.45 billion revolving credit facility. The stock rose to its highest in three months.

It received commitments for $8.4 billion in the first phase of syndication, an increase from 37 senior banks of almost $3 billion above existing levels, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. Glencore signed $7.7 billion of those commitments and plans to broaden the refinancing through a general syndication to about 30 additional banks in the second quarter, it said.

The commitment from Glencore’s lenders is a signal of confidence in the trader amid a downturn in prices that’s already forced billionaire CEO Ivan Glasenberg to scrap the firm’s dividend, sell $2.5 billion of new shares and dispose of assets to raise funds. It also comes after Standard & Poor’s cut Glencore’s credit rating to the lowest investment grade earlier this month after lowering its commodity price forecasts.

It’s “a positive development from the company, and whilst not finalised it is encouraging that there remains healthy demand to lend to Glencore,” Investec analysts wrote in a note. “However, we would be surprised if the interest payments will be reduced as the commodity environment has worsened and the company’s credit rating is weaker than a year ago.”

Read also: ‘Parts of SA mining sector in the ICU’

Glencore enacted a $13 billion debt reduction plan last year to alleviate investor concern about its level of borrowing. The stock plunged 70 percent in 2015 and the cost of insuring its debt against default surged as commodities from oil to copper collapsed, eroding profits. The Baar, Switzerland-based company will report 2015 earnings on March 1.

Glencore stock rose as much as 6.6 percent to the highest level since November 10 and was 6.4 percent up at 109.55 pence by 9:01 a.m. in London. The shares have rallied 52 percent over the past four weeks.

Glencore’s 1.25 billion euros of 5.25 percent bonds due March 2017 rose for a fourth day to 100.4 cents on the euro, the longest streak of gains since November and the highest price since December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company’s 750 million euros of 3.375 percent securities maturing in 2020 also had their fourth day of gains, increasing to 85 cents on the euro, the highest since December.

The new unsecured facility contains a 12-month extension option and a 12-month borrower’s term-out option, extending the final maturity to May 2018.

The bookrunners on the deal were ABN Amro Group, HSBC Holdings, ING Groep, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Banco Santander *Peter Grauer, chairman of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, is a senior independent non-executive director at Glencore.

Advertisements