Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cash Crunch: "France's Credit Agricole quits commodities trading"

This seems rather a big deal, especially for an outfit named Agricole.
From Reuters:
* Up to 100 jobs to go in commodities trading
* Commodities trade finance continues but to be reduced
* Other banks could also leave commodities trading
PARIS/LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Credit Agricole will stop trading commodities and cut down on commodities trade financing, leaving what has been a lucrative business as the euro zone debt crisis forces European banks to reassess exposure to risk.

The French bank, which has its roots in finance for farming, warned on Wednesday of losses and write-downs this year as it struggles to cope with a credit crunch. Trade sources said others could follow it out of commodities.

The deepening euro zone debt crisis has hit French banks hard as traditional sources of dollar funding have evaporated and as they face pressure to meet tougher capital requirements.

"What is happening with Credit Agricole is certainly a major trend across banking where the entire commodities trading business is shrinking," said a senior commodities trader who recently left a major bank for an independent trading house.

"It is happening because of regulations, as proprietary trading is not allowed any more and because people have overspeculated in the past years and got badly burnt."...MORE