GENEVA, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Vitol, the world’s biggest oil
trader, reported revenues that topped $300 billion for the first
time in 2012, while its profit margin was under increasing
pressure after slipping below 1 percent to a four-year low the
Revenues rose by 2 percent to $303 billion, despite a slight
drop in traded volumes, along with a rise in energy prices, the
Swiss firm said on Thursday. The figure exceeds revenues
reported by U.S. No. 2 oil major Chevron.
LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Vitol, the world’s biggest oil
trader, returned its second-highest profits on record in 2011 on
a steep increase in revenue, but its profit margin and cash flow
fell to their lowest in four years, the private firm disclosed.
The annual filing showed the challenges that trading houses
face in turning growth into profits. In their constant quest to
conquer new markets and secure bigger volumes, they rarely end
up generating a higher rate of return.
LONDON/GENEVA, Feb 26 (Reuters) – African crude exports to
the United States could slip to a trickle this year as the
world’s top oil consumer enjoys a shale oil boom, allowing
China, often now the buyer of last resort, to become ever more
The dire prospects for West African and Algerian exports to
the U.S. is also stoking competition among producers, which must
sell to a reduced pool of Asian and European clients.
DUBAI/GENEVA, Feb 21 (Reuters) – East Africa’s emerging oil
products market has sparked intense competition between traders
hunting for better profits to bolster tight margins in Europe
and the Middle East.
Oil traders with Gulf operations based in Dubai are looking
to sell into an East African market now worth $15 billion a year
to supply oil products to power emerging economies growing on
the back of a rising population and robust mining activity.
* Trading houses expanding into new commodities markets
* Agriculture, oil markets more connected due to biofuels
* Grains margins seen as much higher than oil returns
By Emma Farge and Sarah McFarlane
LONDON, Feb 20(Reuters) – Top oil trader Vitol is building a
global grains desk and has taken advantage of Glencore’s
takeover of Canadian grains giant Viterra to hire a
team of its traders, trading sources said on Wednesday.
Vitol, which has an annual turnover of nearly $300 billion,
will vie for market share along with rival trading firms Gunvor
and Mercuria, which have also expanded in agricultural commodity
markets as they seek to expand across new markets.
LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Brent crude held near $117 per
barrel on Tuesday after falling in the last three sessions as
traders eyed lacklustre European growth and waited for U.S. data
to provide demand clues for the world’s largest oil user.
Forecasts for a slowdown in France’s GDP growth in 2013 and
elections in Italy have added to uncertainty on the euro zone
outlook, curbing investors’ appetite for riskier assets like
GENEVA, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Top oil trading house Vitol plans
to offer C$192 million ($192 million) for Canada-listed oil and
gas group Sterling Resources, to gain a foothold in the
North Sea oil and gas sector.
The planned deal, worth C$0.85 per Sterling share – a 79
percent premium to Tuesday’s close at C$0.475, is the latest in
a series of moves by Swiss firm Vitol to acquire physical energy
GENEVA, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Swiss National Bank chief Thomas
Jordan rejected the idea that he was fuelling a currency war by
keeping a lid on the strong franc, saying on Tuesday he welcomed
the franc’s recent weakening and expected it to continue.
The safe-haven franc, on which the SNB imposed a 1.20 per
euro limit in September 2011 to prevent Switzerland sliding into
deflation and recession, has fallen more than 2 percent this
year as sentiment on the euro zone has improved.
GENEVA, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Switzerland has stepped up a
criminal investigation into an oil contract in the Republic of
Congo and will question a former Gunvor employee and his
associate on suspicions of fraud, the company confirmed.
The attorney general originally opened the money laundering
investigation in late 2011 but did not have sufficient evidence
until last month to identify the individuals and proceed with
GENEVA, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Commodity trading houses pouring
millions of dollars into buying physical assets risk shifting
capital away from their core business and driving out top
talent, according to a study by advisory firm Deloitte
Following the model of Swiss commodities giant Glencore
, many independent trading houses have sought to snap up
assets such as oil refineries and aluminium smelters.