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Dec 1, 11:42 AM EST

In turnaround, commodities giant Glencore to resume dividend

GENEVA (AP) -- Commodities giant Glencore will resume paying a dividend worth $1 billion, a sign of improved financial health for a company that was just last year facing questions about its ability to cope with slumping prices.

The Anglo-Swiss company says it's reinstating the dividend next year after having sold off assets worth $6.3 billion, over three times its previous guidance, to reduce debt.

Glencore last year saw its shares nosedive as investors worried about its ability to handle debt. The company responded by selling off assets and cutting production and costs. The company said 2016 has been "challenging."

CEO Ivan Glasenberg said Glencore had delivered on its commitments to cut its debt and strengthen its balance sheet, and now "can look forward to the future with confidence."

The company, which is based in Baar, Switzerland, but listed in London, has about 150 mining and metallurgical sites. It markets over 90 commodities including copper, zinc and nickel to industrial customers.

Its shares were up 1.5 percent in London trading.

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