JPMorgan selling physical commodities business
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan said on Wednesday that it has made a deal to sell its physical commodities business for $3.5 billion as regulators weigh whether to restrict banks' ability to control power plants, warehouses, and oil refineries.
If it's approved by regulators, the deal would put the commodities business in the hands of energy and commodities trading company Mercuria Energy Group Ltd.
Big banks have long profited from price swings in metals, energy, and other commodities. But some had branched out into owning physical facilities. Last summer JPMorgan said that the possibility of new regulations on whether banks could continue to do that was a factor behind its decision to consider selling some of its physical commodities business, which includes metals and energy assets. The Federal Reserve in January said it would consider new regulations.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Wednesday that after the sale it will still provide traditional banking activities in the commodities markets. It will also continue to make markets, provide liquidity and risk management and offer advice to global companies and institutions.
The deal, which is not expected to have a material impact on JPMorgan's earnings, is targeted to close in the third quarter.
JPMorgan shares rose 24 cents to $58.30 on Wednesday. Its shares have risen about 19 percent over the past year.
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