BofA London LNG Traders Said to Move to Noble in July

Two Bank of America Corp. liquefied natural gas traders will join Noble Group Ltd. in July, according to three people familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified because the move hasn’t been announced.

Gabriel Gonzalez Laguna and Alejandro Sanchez Gestido will leave Merrill Lynch Commodities (Europe) Ltd. in June, two of the people said. Gonzalez Laguna, director of LNG trading and origination, and Sanchez Gestido, director of LNG business development, will start an LNG trading desk for Noble in London, the people said.

Gonzalez Laguna has worked at BofA for four years, while Sanchez Gestido has been there for a year, having joined from Noble, the people said. Saima Farooqi, a spokeswoman for BofA in London, and Stephen Brown, a spokesman for Noble in Hong Kong, declined to comment.

BofA’s LNG traders are leaving as opportunities shrink amid increased bank regulations. The company said in January that it would stop trading power and gas in Europe because of regulatory changes. Banks from Barclays Plc to Morgan Stanley also have reduced or closed trading desks over the past two years.

Regulators have since the financial crisis in 2008 drafted new rules to improve transparency and reduce systemic risk in derivatives markets across all asset classes. The European Commission, the region’s executive arm, imposed a requirement in 2012 for all over-the-counter derivatives transactions to be guaranteed through a central clearing house to cut risk. The European Union agreed on Jan. 14 to impose size limits on commodity trade positions to reduce speculation.

Sargent, Griffiths

BofA sends LNG cargoes to Atlantic basin customers, such as deliveries into the Gate terminal in the Netherlands, is involved in small-scale operations and in reloads from Spain, Gonzalez Laguna said in March. The bank signed a multiyear agreement with Dubai Supply Authority to ship cargoes to a floating storage and regasification unit in Jebel Ali, Dubai, from this summer as it moves to expand LNG sales to the Pacific region, he said on March 21.

Noble Group, Asia’s biggest commodity trader by sales, hired Tom Sargent, EON SE’s former director of power and emissions trading, two people with knowledge of the appointment said in April. The appointment followed that of Gareth Griffiths, previously in charge of merchant trading at EON Global Commodities in Dusseldorf, Germany, who joined Noble in October as global head of power, gas and carbon.

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