JPMorgan to sell unit for $3.5bn

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JPMorgan1 Reuters. A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in this file picture.

New York - US banking giant JPMorgan Chase announced Wednesday it is selling its physical commodities business to Swiss trading firm Mercuria Energy Group Limited for $3.5 billion.

The deal divests physical commodities assets, transactions and energy and metals trading staff to Mercuria, which was founded in 2004 by two former Swiss traders at Goldman Sachs and is well known in energy and commodity trading circles.

JPMorgan said it will continue to provide financing and some other services in commodities markets.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter following regulatory approvals.

The transaction is not expected to materially affect JPMorgan's earnings, the bank said.

The transaction comes as JPMorgan seeks to pare back exposure to riskier business lines as it aims to exit a period of heavy regulatory scrutiny and billions in federal penalties from its role in the mortgage-finance scandal and other controversies. - Sapa-AFP

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