Mining group Anglo American Plc sold 10.4 million shares in South Africa's AngloGold Ashanti, further trimming its stake and raising about $280 million, the company said on Wednesday.

The sale by Anglo, the world's fourth-biggest diversified mining group by market value, will improve the firm's cash flow ahead of debt repayments later this year, analysts said.

The share disposal cut Anglo's stake in AngloGold to 13.3 percent from 16.3 percent, spokesman James Wyatt-Tilby told Reuters.

These 10 million odd shares represent just under 3 percent in AngloGold and we completed the sale of those in the market by the 4th or the 5th of February, he said.

Anglo has said it eventually plans to dispose of the remaining stake in AngloGold, the world's third-biggest gold company by production, to better focus on its core businesses of base metals, iron ore and platinum.

Before it began reducing its stake in 2006, Anglo held a majority stake in AngloGold.

Anglo posts annual results on Friday and investors will focus on how the firm will deal with its $11 billion in net debt, analysts said.

A debt repayment of $3 billion is due in December.

We expect Anglo to fully exit this stake in the next few months in order to reduce debt and fund the 7 billion rand credit line offered to Angloplat, Deutsche Bank said in a research note published on Monday. Anglo Platinum is Anglo's South African platinum subsidiary.

The sale of the remaining 13.3 percent stake in AngloGold would realise around $1.45 billion at current share prices.

Anglo shares in London rose 0.6 percent to 1,229 pence by 1420 GMT, outperforming a 0.6 percent fall in the UK mining index.

AngloGold shares in Johannesburg fell 1.2 percent to 316 rand, lagging a largely flat gold index.

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