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Commodity Revenue of Banks Seen by Tricumen Dropping 15%

Commodities revenue of the top 12 investment banks fell 15 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to researcher Tricumen Ltd.

Twelve banks from Barclays Plc to JPMorgan Chase & Co. generated $2.3 billion in commodities in the first quarter, compared with $2.7 billion a year earlier, Tricumen said in an e-mailed report today. Front office staff declined by 11 percent to 2,500 people, Darko Kapor, a partner at London-based Tricumen, said in a telephone interview.

“Commodity revenues grew in Asia-Pacific, but this was more than offset by weakness in other regions,” Tricumen said in the report.

Banks are overhauling raw materials businesses as regulators push lenders to raise capital requirements and curb proprietary trading. Some of the top 12 banks are selectively investing in commodities, Tricumen said.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities advanced 0.3 percent last year after rising almost fourfold in the previous decade. The measure retreated 3.4 percent since the start of January as the MSCI All-Country World Index of equities gained 10 percent.

Barclays and JPMorgan declined to comment.

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