Glencore reported higher profits in the first six months despite a US corruption probe

Geneva (AFP) - Mining giant Glencore posted higher first-half net profit on Wednesday, shrugging off a number of adverse factors, such as a corruption probe in the United States.

The Switzerland-based company reported net profit of $2.7 billion (2.3 billion euros) in the first six months of 2018, a 13-percent improvement over the same period last year.

That came despite the announcement from the US justice department last month that it was investigating Glencore’s operations in Nigeria, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo over possible money laundering and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

News of the US probe, which had sent Glencore shares plunging, followed reports that Britain’s Serious Fraud Office was also investigating the firm over its operations in DR Congo.

Meanwhile, Glencore in June had to settle a burgeoning legal dispute with its former partner in DR Congo, Israeli businessman Dan Gertler, who had threatened a multi-billion-dollar lawsuit.

Glencore was forced to temporarily stop paying royalties to Gertler once he was slapped with US sanctions over allegedly improper payments to DR Congo’s President Joseph Kabila.

The company also had to cancel a share swap with aluminium giant Rusal after the Russian firm was itself slapped with sanctions by Washington.

But despite the headwinds, Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg was able to boast that his firm remained on track for a strong year.

“We remain focused on creating value for shareholders through the disciplined allocation of long-term capital,” he said in a statement.

Glencore’s stock price ticked down about 0.5 percent to 324.48 pence in early morning trading on the London exchange.