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May 22, 2013

UK, France to join resource transparency initiative

GENEVA/LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – The UK and French
governments will join a global initiative that will require oil
and mining firms to comply with new disclosure measures aimed at
tackling corruption, British Prime Minister David Cameron said
on Wednesday.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has
stakeholders in the public and private sectors and requires
resource companies to disclose payments made to governments.

May 16, 2013

Glencore in control as Xstrata cleared from board

LONDON/ZUG, Switzerland (Reuters) – Glencore (GLEN.L: Quote, Profile, Research) bosses tightened their grip on the newly enlarged miner and trader on Thursday, as shareholders voted out all former Xstrata directors including the already outgoing chairman, replacing him with former BP boss Tony Hayward.

The move propels Hayward – “vilified” for his role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill – back into the corporate limelight at one of London’s largest companies.

May 16, 2013

Glencore Xstrata chairman ousted in surprise coup

LONDON/ZUG, Switzerland (Reuters) – Glencore Xstrata (GLEN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chairman John Bond surprised investors on Thursday by announcing he had been voted out of the top job at the miner and trader at the group’s first annual shareholders’ meeting.

Bond gave no explanation, but as the meeting began in Zug, Switzerland, he handed responsibility for chairing the gathering to former BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) boss Tony Hayward, the company’s senior independent director.

May 14, 2013

Gunvor sees traders extending control of assets

LONDON/GENEVA, May 14 (Reuters) – Gunvor will beef up its
assets by buying or building refineries and terminals from Asia
to Africa as opportunities for trading grow with oil majors
shifting their focus to producing energy, the trading house said
on Tuesday.

Gunvor outlined the plans in its first prospectus to
investors as it seeks to raise at least $200 million via a bond
issue. The firm is co-owned by Gennady Timchenko, seen as one of
the closest allies of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

May 14, 2013

Report for banks finds they pose more risk than commodity traders

GENEVA, May 14 (Reuters) – A study commissioned by a global
banking lobby group has found that banks pose a greater systemic
risk than their commodity trading house competitors do and the
report has not been made public, its author said.

Craig Pirrong, a University of Houston academic confirmed he
was the author of the study commissioned by the Global Financial
Markets Association (GFMA).

May 13, 2013

Oil trader Vitol drops plans to buy Sterling Resources

GENEVA, May 13 (Reuters) – Swiss trading house Vitol
has dropped plans to bid for Canada-listed oil and
gas producer Sterling Resources, Sterling said on
Monday, after talks stalled over price.

Vitol, which is also a Sterling shareholder, said in
February it would offer C$192 million ($190 million) for
Sterling, giving it a foothold in the North Sea oil and gas
sector.

May 9, 2013

Gunvor says volumes hit record in 2012, crude role shrinks

GENEVA, May 9 (Reuters) – Swiss trading house Gunvor said
tonnage of commodities traded hit a record high last year, with
crude oil contributing less than a third as the firm shifts its
focus to refined oil products and other commodities.

Provisional turnover was a record 136 million tonnes versus
122 million in 2011, while crude accounted for just 30 percent
of the total, according to a presentation given by David Fyfe,
Gunvor’s head of market research and analysis.

May 6, 2013

Swiss open criminal investigation linked to Spain graft scandal

GENEVA (Reuters) – Swiss authorities have opened a money laundering investigation into a former treasurer of Spain’s ruling party suspected of depositing millions of euros from bribes in Swiss bank accounts, the Geneva prosecutor handling the case said on Monday.

Luis Barcenas, accused by Spanish authorities of abusing his position to secure bribes, evading taxes and laundering money is at the heart of a growing corruption scandal that has hurt the conservative People’s Party and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

May 1, 2013

Commodity traders could face regulation for role as lenders

GENEVA, May 1 (Reuters) – The world’s little-regulated and
often secretive commodity trading houses could face new
disclosure rules, and even capital requirements, because of
their money lending activities, after a global regulatory
watchdog’s review of “shadow banking”.

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) – a task force set up by
the G20 group of major economies to improve global financial
regulation in the wake of the 2008 crisis – has asked national
and regional regulators to determine whether commodity traders
should come under the scope of new rules.

Apr 24, 2013

Swiss bring back quotas to control EU immigration

GENEVA (Reuters) – Switzerland said it will reintroduce quotas for European Union workers, bowing to growing unease about immigration from poorer neighbors, in a decision Brussels says violates an accord.

Prosperous, landlocked Switzerland has seen the net influx of workers rise to up to 80,0000 a year, contributing to a house price bubble and prompting criticism from right-wing parties.