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May 24, 2012

Libya’s Tamoil pledges cash to save Swiss refinery

GENEVA, May 24 (Reuters) – Libyan-owned Tamoil’s Swiss
branch said it will spend “tens of millions” of Swiss francs on
its Collombey refinery after cantonal authorities issued an
ultimatum on a clean-up of the plant and threatened to force it
to suspend operations.

The Swiss canton of Valais, best known for the “Toblerone
mountain” and world-class ski resorts, in March published a list
of 15 steps it said Tamoil should implement to clean up the
50-year old plant.

May 23, 2012

Trafigura shifts trading centre to Singapore

GENEVA/SINGAPORE, May 23 (Reuters) – Commodities trader
Trafigura said on Wednesday that Singapore would
become its main trading centre as it seeks to tap booming
regional demand, dealing a blow to Switzerland as a commodities

Asian economic growth led by China is causing a shift in the
global demand centre from West to East, prompting a hiring spree
among Singapore’s commodity houses.

May 18, 2012

Trader BB Energy expands commodity finance team

GENEVA, May 18 (Reuters) – BB Energy said on Friday it has
hired three commodity finance specialists as the energy trading
house seeks to tap alternative sources of funding for downstream
acquisitions and its expansion in crude oil trading this summer.

Many small to mid-sized trading houses have seen their
credit lines trimmed or cut in the last year as the traditional
kings of commodity trade finance, the European banks, have
struggled to raise dollar funding.

May 4, 2012

Miners will battle resource grabs – Glencore

ST GALLEN, Switzerland, May 4 (Reuters) – Mining companies
will fight growing resource nationalism and could pull out of
countries where governments are demanding too large a share of
the pie, commodities giant Glencore warned on Fri day, a
day after Argentina nationalised the country’s biggest oil firm.

“The mining industry is  forming tight groups among each
other on how we are going to fight it…,” Glencore Chief
Executive Ivan Glasenberg said.

May 4, 2012

Access to Iran army site “priority” in talks: IAEA

ST GALLEN, Switzerland (Reuters) – Gaining access to a key Iranian military facility will be the priority for the U.N. nuclear watchdog when it resumes talks with the Islamic state in mid-May, agency head Yukiya Amano said on Friday.

Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the Vienna-based U.N. body did not yet have a “positive response” from Iran regarding the request for nuclear inspectors to be allowed to visit the Parchin site.

May 3, 2012

Vitol, Atlas buy Petroplus Swiss plant

GENEVA (Reuters) – Vitol, the world’s largest oil trader, has teamed up with the co-founder of Petroplus, Marcel Van Poecke, to buy the insolvent refiner’s Swiss plant, as part of the trader’s drive to expand into physical assets.

Varo Holding SA, the joint venture between Vitol and Van Poecke’s AtlasInvest, agreed to buy the Cressier plant on Wednesday and will complete the transaction by the end of June, Petroplus administrator Wenger-Plattner said on Thursday.

May 2, 2012

Trafigura fund seeks $1 bln for trade finance

May 2 (Reuters) – The fund arm of Swiss-based trading house
Trafigura is seeking to raise $1 billion for trade and
commodities finance, the company said on Wednesday, as it seeks
to expand in a realm traditionally dominated by European banks.

The quest for new funding forms part of a broader drive by
Trafigura’s hedge fund Galena to increase its assets under
management to $4 billion by the end of 2013.

Apr 25, 2012

Chinese yuan to become key commodities currency

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Gold, copper and other commodities could be paid for in yuan within a decade or two, bankers and traders said on Wednesday, provided China pursues its policy of gradually freeing up trade in the currency.

Already the world’s biggest consumer of commodities such as industrial metals and oil, China’s economy is growing more than three times faster than most developed countries.

Apr 24, 2012

Impact of new rules on physical commods seen limited

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, April 24 (Reuters) – Efforts to
increase regulation of physical trade in commodities such as oil
are unlikely to have a big impact on business in this
traditionally opaque sector and would be hard to implement, top
trading house executives said on Tuesday.

Regulatory initiatives on commodities trading have mostly
focused on futures and derivatives, but non-governmental
organisations are also calling for stricter rules on disclosure
for physical commodities deals.

Apr 24, 2012

Private still best despite Glencore – commodities traders

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Private partnerships still offer the best route to growth and development for most commodity traders, feeding the personal touch which sustains business, despite the success of Glencore’s share flotation last year, senior traders said on Tuesday.

Glencore (GLEN.L: Quote, Profile, Research) raised more than $10 billion via an initial public offering last May, making six of its directors billionaires including Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg, but so far its rivals have not followed suit.