London — Glencore may have had a nightmarish year so far, but the world’s top commodity trader is still raking in mountains of money. The company is facing a US corruption probe, got mired in a dispute with its billionaire former partner in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and has been caught in the fallout from new US sanctions on Russia — among other issues. Yet despite all the bad news, Glencore is expected to report its most profitable six months ever when the company publishes first-half results on Wednesday.

While some of the issues have since been resolved, the company’s shares are down 17% this year, compared with gains by rivals such as BHP and Anglo American. Analysts are more optimistic, meaning that Glencore’s share discount to the average target price is near its widest in half a decade. "Glencore has always had reputational issues, but even by their standards this has been a particularly horrific six months," said Ben Davis, an analyst at Liberum Capital. ...

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