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Glencore hires Morgan Stanley banker as it targets investments

| NEW YORK/LONDON, March 13

NEW YORK/LONDON, March 13 Glencore has hired a senior banker from Morgan Stanley, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, as the mining giant looks at investments and acquisitions again after two years of belt tightening due to low commodities prices.

The Zug, Switzerland-based company has hired Cyrus Behbehani, who helped run Morgan Stanley's investment banking franchise in the Middle East, the sources said.

Behbehani has been working for Glencore since the start of the year, based in London, they added.

Glencore declined to comment.

Glencore said last month it was well-placed for acquisitions after reporting an 18 percent rise in full-year profit, buoyed by a rebound in raw materials prices.

Prior to the crisis, Glencore was one of the most acquisitive firms in the industry, buying coal and metals miner Xstrata in 2012.

The commodities price plunge of 2015 prompted the company to reverse its strategy to focus on divestments instead.

Glencore embarked on a large asset sale spree to cut its $35 billion of debts, a task it has achieved relatively quickly drawing praise from investors.

Chief executive Ivan Glasenberg said this year the company was keen to carefully grow via deals, but added he did not see a big M&A target at the moment. (Additional reporting by Julia Payne; Editing by Mark Potter)

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