Picture: REUTERS

LONDON — Glencore International, the largest publicly traded commodities company, is considering a stock-market listing in South Africa as it looks to tap the country’s investor base, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Glencore is weighing the listing partly because of the importance South African operations will have once it completes a $36bn takeover of Xstrata, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans are not public.

The Baar, Switzerland-based commodities trader may still opt not to go ahead with the listing, the person said. An official for Glencore declined to comment.

Glencore shares have traded in London and Hong Kong since it sold $10bn of stock in an initial public offering in May 2011. South African-born CEO Ivan Glasenberg is due to complete the combination with Xstrata next month, with Chinese approval the final outstanding requirement.

Glencore announced the acquisition in February last year, raising its bid in September before winning shareholder approval. The takeover will create the world’s fourth-largest mining company, combining Glencore’s global trading operations in metals, energy and agricultural products with Xstrata’s coal, copper and zinc mines.

Glencore and Xstrata last month extended their deadline to complete the tie-up to mid-March, to allow for the completion of regulatory reviews in South Africa and China.

Xstrata, based in Zug, Switzerland, owns coal, chrome and platinum mines in South Africa.

Its projects include the Goedgevonden thermal-coal complex in Mpumalanga, the Helena underground chrome mine on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex, the Wonderkop ferrochrome plant in North West and the Eland platinum mine near Pretoria.