GLENCORE UNDER PROBE OVER CONGO PAYMENTS
Glencore PLC, the world’s third largest copper producer, is under investigation for payments a subsidiary made to a company owned by a person accused of bribing officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Congo has some of the world’s largest copper and cobalt deposits, both vital components in the making of electric cars.
Canadian investigators are scrutinizing payments that Katanga Mining, a company controlled by Glencore that operates in Congo, was expected to make to Congo’s state-run firm Gecamines, but instead sent to a Caymans Island company owned by Israeli businessman Dan Gertler.
Authorities are investigating “whether Katanga Mining violated rules requiring that companies disclose business done with their own investors,” write Scott Patterson and Ben Dummett.
Glencore and Gecamines declined to comment. A spokesman for Mr. Gertler’s company, Fleurette Group, disputed any allegations of bribery. Congolese government officials haven’t responded to requests for comment.
In a U.S. probe last year against a third-party affiliated with Mr. Gertler, the Justice Department said Mr. Gertler paid more than $100 million in bribes to Congolese officials in exchange for access to some of the nation’s best mineral assets. Mr. Gertler hasn’t been charged.
HALLIBURTON TO SETTLE SEC ALLEGATIONS OVER ANGOLA PAYMENTS
Halliburton Co. has agreed to pay more than $29.2 million to settle U.S. federal charges that it made illegal payments to an Angolan company as it worked to secure oil-field services contracts, writes Justina Vasquez.
The investigation centered on contracts reached in 2008 with Angola’s state-owned oil firm Sonangol.
Sonangol requires foreign firms to work with domestic businesses to satisfy local content rules.
The Securities and Exchange Commission says Jeannot Lorenz, Halliburton’s former vice president, didn’t conduct competitive bidding for some contracts and worked to retain a firm owned by an ex-Halliburton employee who was a friend of a Sonangol official.
Halliburton didn’t admit or deny the government’s findings. “The company also said the Justice Department has ended its investigation into the matter and isn’t bringing charges,” Ms. Vasquez reports.
Oil prices ticked higher Friday, hitting a two-month high ahead of a key reading on U.S. production activity.
Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.06% to $51.55 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading up 0.08% at $49.08 a barrel.
On Thursday Royal Dutch Shell PLC presented a pessimistic vision for the future of oil on, even as the company reported success in generating cash during a prolonged energy downturn.