Glencore shares tumble to record low

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Shares in commodity giant Glencore plunged 30% after analysts raised fears about lower metal prices.

The company's shares dropped to a new record low of 67p on Monday, helping push the FTSE 100 down 2%.

Analysts warned slumping metal prices could leave Glencore shares almost worthless because of its heavy debts.

Fears over Glencore's £20bn debt pile have seen its shares dive in the past month and the cost of insuring that debt has soared.

'Value eliminated'

More than £3.5bn was wiped off Glencore's market value after a warning from analysts at Investec.

They wrote that low metals prices "could see almost all equity value eliminated" at the Switzerland-based company.

They also questioned how much Glencore could raise from selling its agriculture division, as "valuing such a volatile business is likely to be tough".

Glencore hopes to generate up to $12bn (£7.9bn) from the sale of its grains business to reduce its debt burden.

The Investec analysts said that without major restructuring, Glencore and another debt-laden mining firm, Anglo American, could see their value "evaporate".

Shares in London-listed Anglo American also fell 10%.

Hunter Hillcoat, an analyst at Investec, said: "Mining companies gorged themselves on cheap debt in a race to grow production following the Chinese stimulus that occurred in the wake of the great financial crisis.

"The consequences are only now coming home to roost, as mines take a long time to build."

Fears of a slowdown in China's economy has weighed on metal prices, with copper, aluminium and nickel all down more than 25% compared to a year ago.

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