Anglo American came under criticism from analysts for being a “bit light” on its annual return to shareholders as it stuck rigidly to its recently unveiled dividend policy. Anglo, a major diversified mining company, has shaved $10bn off its debt in three years as the board implemented a tough turnaround strategy with a far smaller but more productive asset base with a unique offering of diamonds, platinum group metals (PGMs), copper, iron ore, coal and nickel. The company is also heading into a period of spending on growth at its Quellaveco copper project in Peru. Anglo declared a final dividend of $0.51 per share, equivalent to the top end of its dividend policy of paying shareholders up to 40% of underlying earnings in the second half of the year to end-December. The final dividend brought the total return for the year to $1 per share. “It’s a bit churlish maybe to criticise a company for doing what they said they were going to do, but a 40% payout given the strength of the balanc...

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