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Glencore, a major mining, farming and commodity trading company, recorded a strong set of results for 2017 on the back of improved trading conditions. Glencore declared a $0.20 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 versus our estimate of 14c," Barclays said in a note. It reduced its net debt 31% to $10.7bn — the bottom end of its $10bn to $16bn range — largely on the back of increased inventories rather than cash, which decreased during the year. Net attributable income was $5.8bn from $1.4bn in 2016. "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," said CEO Ivan Glasenberg. "Going forward, those commodities where primary market balanc...

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