Wednesday, June 9, 2010

JPMorgan increases stake in China's Yanzhou Coal to 11.13% Loses Money on Coal Trade (JPM; YZC)

 Irony below.
A twofer. First up China Daily:
HONG KONG - US financial holding company JPMorgan Chase and Co had acquired 3.394 million shares of the HK- listed Yanzhou Coal for HK$57.94 million ($7.43 million) and increased its stake to 11.13 percent, according to data released on late Tuesday by the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The stock exchange said JPMorgan Chase had bought Yanzhou Coal, one of China's top coal producers based in East China's Shandong province, on May 21 at an average price HK$17.07 per share....
And from the New York Post:
JPMorgan coal hole
$250M Trading bust a Dimon Mine Miss
JPMorgan Chase's CEO Jamie Dimon may get burned by a coal trade that is said to have rung up a loss of as much as $250 million this quarter, The Post has learned.
The hit, which occurred on the bank's commodities desk, is believed to have been the result of wrong-way bets that JPMorgan placed in recent weeks on coal traded in different regions of the world.
The potential losses come at an inopportune time, as Washington lawmakers review sweeping changes to Wall Street rules on proprietary trading.
A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment on the commodities operation, which is run by global head Blythe Masters.
It's not entirely clear how JPMorgan racked up the coal loss, but sources speculate the firm was employing an arbitrage-trading strategy linked to the price differences in coal prices between northwest Europe and South Africa.
Specifically, the firm's traders were believed to have been wagering on the differentials between the costs associated with shipping coal in northwest Europe and the price of delivering coal in South Africa's Richards Bay.

Sources said any number of trading methods in the opaque market could have caused the smoldering hit, including swings in demand from China and sudden changes in freight costs and a labor strike in Colombia.
Some observers say the trading loss could be in the range of $200 million to $250 million, with some speculating that it could swing lower or higher.
Sources familiar with the firm's trading strategy said JPMorgan was still unwinding its positions....
She will be running JPM's carbon trading operation should the U.S. go the cap-and-trade route.