By Alistair MacDonald 

LONDON -- Britain's top financial cop said it is investigating Glencore PLC for alleged bribery, sending shares of the mining and commodities trading giant down more than 6% after regulatory woes elsewhere have weighed on the company all year.

The U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office said it was investigating suspicions of bribery "in the conduct of business by the Glencore group of companies, its officials, employees, agents and associated persons." It didn't elaborate. Glencore also disclosed the probe in a statement on Thursday. It declined to comment further.

The agency has been looking into the mining giant's activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and its relationship with Israeli diamond merchant Dan Gertler, according to a person familiar with the probe.

Glencore's shares have fallen nearly 24% this year amid regulatory scrutiny all over the world. During the same period, most large miners' stock has risen. Analysts blame Glencore's underperformance on its legal and regulatory troubles among other factors.

Glencore said in July 2018 that it had received a subpoena from the U.S. Justice Department, demanding records related to its compliance with American antibribery and money-laundering laws in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Venezuela. Glencore has also said that it is the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The company has engaged external legal counsel and forensic experts to assist in responding to the Justice Department and CFTC investigations, Glencore said in posting its half-year results in August.

Write to Alistair MacDonald at alistair.macdonald@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 05, 2019 09:37 ET (14:37 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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