JOHANNESBURG - Glencore is planning to withdraw its listing from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange next year, with the world’s biggest commodities trader saying that only a small number of investors had chosen to hold their shares on the local register.

Dealings in Hong Kong-listed shares are expected to cease on January 10, the Baar, a Switzerland-based company said yesterday. Glencore, which trades raw materials including copper and zinc, will retain its listing in London as well as in Joburg. Glencore started trading in Hong Kong in 2011 to attract investment from Asian markets, where most of its commodities are sold and consumed.

The shares have rallied this year, hitting a four-year high in London this month, as raw materials advanced, especially metals. On Monday, Glencore raised its forecast for earnings from its trading division to as much as $2.8billion (R39.41bn). “After careful consideration, the board has concluded that it is in the best interests of the company, the shareholders and holders of other securities of the company as a whole if the listing of the shares on the HKEX is withdrawn,” it said.

A man walks past an electronic board showing share indices around the world at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Glencore plans to delist from the Hong Kong bourse. Photo: AP

The shares held on the Hong Kong register account for 0.3percent of the total issued share capital, it said. Listings and voluntary delistings are the result of commercial decisions by companies and are often due to many factors, exchange spokesperson Lorraine Chan said.

She was calling the city a “very competitive listing centre with many advantages”. The trader’s Hong Kong shares ended 1.6percent higher at HK$37.95 (R68.49) yesterday, taking their advance this year to 45percent.

In January last year, the stock sank to a nadir of HK$7.81 amid concerns about the company’s debt load and weaker commodity prices.