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Tue, Jun 24, 2008 - Page 10 News List

Standard Chartered plans to expand commodities team

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Standard Chartered Plc, the UK bank that makes more than 90 percent of its profit in emerging markets, plans to expand its commodities trading team by about a fifth this year, with a focus on oil and agriculture.

New traders in crude oil, coffee, cocoa, sugar and other agricultural products will be based in Dubai and Singapore, Jeremy East, the London-based bank’s global head of trading in commodity derivatives, said in an interview on Friday.

The bank has about 40 commodities traders now, he said.

“Oil prices look well supported as demand continues to remain strong,” East said in London, where the bank is based.

More people will also be hired in Shanghai, he said.

Securities firms including Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc and Credit Suisse Group added a record 450 people in commodities last year, New York-based recruiter Options Group said.

The UBS Bloomberg CMCI Index of 26 commodities has risen 30 percent this year, while the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index has dropped 10 percent and US Treasuries have returned 1.1 percent.

Standard Chartered this year became a member of the Shanghai Gold Exchange, a spot market for precious metals.

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