Mitsui to Exit Overseas Precious-Metals Trade, Unwind Positions

Mitsui & Co., Japan’s second-biggest trading house, said it will pull out of overseas precious-metals trading after evaluating the profitability of the business.

The company will exit physical and futures trading of gold, silver, palladium and platinum, said a spokesman who asked not to be identified because of company policy. Mitsui will begin the process of unwinding its positions in the near future, Tim Sugimura, chief executive officer and president of Mitsui & Co. Precious Metals Inc., said in an e-mailed statement dated Oct. 12.

Mitsui, whose involvement in precious metals dates back to the 1970s, took the decision after evaluating the business potential and future profitability of the operation, the spokesman said. The company will keep its business in Japan, the spokesman said.

The Swiss Competition Commission identified a unit of Mitsui and six banks as part of an investigation into precious metals trading last month. The decision was not linked in any way to the probe, the spokesman said.

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