Glencore, a major mining, farming and commodities trading company, recorded a strong set of results for 2017 as a result of improved prices and trading conditions.Glencore declared a 20 US cents dividend for the year, paid out in equal parts in May and September 2018, representing a $2.9bn return to shareholders."The dividend surprised positively with 20c/share to be paid in 2018 versus our estimate of 14c …," Barclays said in a note.It reduced its net debt by 31% to $10.7bn — the bottom end of its $10bn to $16bn range — largely as a result of increased inventories rather than cash, which decreased during the year.Net attributable income was $5.8bn from $1.4bn the year before."These strong results were fuelled by solid underlying global economic growth, which combined with overall industry capital discipline and generally muted production growth, resulted in commodity markets tightening over the year, with a corresponding increase in prices and premiums," CEO Ivan Glasenberg said."G...

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