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Qatar Backs Xstrata-Glencore Merger

The planned merger of commodities trader Glencore and mining group Xstrata has moved a step closer after Xstrata’s second-largest shareholder said it would back the deal.

Qatar Holdings said in a statement that it would vote in favour of the merger next week.

The shareholder vote follows after Glencore increased how much it would pay for each Xstrata share.

The merger plan was first announced in February.

Analysts said the deal between the two Anglo-Swiss companies would now likely be backed by Xstrata shareholders.

While Qatar Holdings, the sovereign wealth fund of Gulf state Qatar, has said it will vote in favour of the merger, it added that it would abstain on a controversial linked vote on whether Xstrata’s board members should receive multi-million pound payments to stay with the future merged company.

Several other Xstrata shareholders, including Standard Life, have criticised the planned payments.

The merger would still need competition approval by the European Commission.

To help secure this, there are unconfirmed reports that Glencore has offered to sell part of Xstrata’s German operations.