Nomura to exit world commodities, energy trading - sources

LONDON Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:01pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Japan's largest brokerage, Nomura Holdings Inc (8604.T) plans to shut its global commodities and energy-trading desks, according to sources close to the company.

"Nomura is closing down the oil and commodities desk. Global," an oil broker said.

Sources said Nomura had oil and commodities trading operations in Tokyo, London and Singapore.

A spokesman for Nomura in London declined to comment on Tuesday.

Nomura expanded its presence in the global commodities business after taking over Lehman Brothers' unit during the financial crisis three years ago.

Earlier in March, two company sources told Reuters that it would trim commodity and energy trading operations. Competitors were surprised as the plan came when markets were seen to be booming.

"It's not just Asia, the global business is being shut down because it was losing money," said a source close to the company.

"Certain individuals have been offered alternative roles and occasionally hard choices have to be made," a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, without confirming or denying the closure.

A proportion of operations involving foreign exchange and certain products "in line with commodities" would be preserved, the source added.

Nomura had been particularly bullish on the oil market amid violence in the Middle East, and in late February forecast oil prices could hit $220.00 a barrel.

(Reporting by Jessica Donati and Ikuko Kurahone; editing by Anthony Barker)

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