JPMorgan, Barclays Seen Topping OTC Commodity Derivatives Market

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Barclays Plc were the top firms for providing over-the-counter commodity derivatives to companies hedging energy and metals exposure, while investors favored Goldman Sachs Group Inc., a Greenwich Associates survey found.

Barclays and JPMorgan, which tied for No. 1 position, had relationships with 39 percent of the global corporations surveyed about their OTC dealers to hedge energy exposure, ahead of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the survey found. JPMorgan also led in metals. Among investors, 59 percent said they had a relationship with Goldman Sachs, 54 percent named JPMorgan and 47 percent used Barclays.

“Banks are rethinking their approach to the commodities business in light of new capital requirements and regulations,” Andrew Awad, a consultant with Stamford, Connecticut-based researcher Greenwich Associates, said in a statement today. “The landscape is becoming far more fragmented, as few banks want to be all things to all people and more find specific segments.”

Commodities revenue at the 10 largest banks slumped 24 percent last year to $6 billion amid low volatility and client flows as Goldman ranked No. 1, followed by JPMorgan, according to a Feb. 15 report from analytics company Coalition. Increasing concerns about regulation and capital sensitivity also led banks to re-examine commodity strategies, it said.

Fifty-five percent in the Greenwich survey said they used JPMorgan to hedge their metals exposure, while 34 percent used Barclays. Thirty-three percent named Citigroup and Deutsche Bank AG and 26 percent said they hedged with Societe Generale SA.

Top Ranking

JPMorgan led the ranks in energy because of its dominance in the U.S. and Asia, according to the survey. Barclays tied with Morgan Stanley for the top position in Europe.

Speculation about investors leaving commodities because of regulatory changes “appears to be overblown,” according to Greenwich Associates. Investment managers will continue to use OTC markets for index business, while hedge funds are likely to move to futures over time as regulations are enforced, Awad said.

Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan declined to comment for this story. Greenwich Associates surveyed 276 corporations that hedge their energy exposure and 98 that hedge metals, as well as 68 commodity investors that use OTC derivatives between September and November.

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