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JPMorgan seeks alternatives for physical commodities ops

Keywords: Tags  JP Morgan Chase & Co., metals, energy, physical commodities, trading operations, strategic alternatives, sale, spinoffs strategic partnerships

NEW YORK — JPMorgan Chase & Co. is pursuing strategic alternatives for its physical commodities business, including its remaining holdings of commodities assets and its physical trading operations.

The company said it had concluded an internal review of the businesses, which include its Henry Bath metals warehousing operations, and that it plans to explore a number of options.

These include, but are not limited to a sale, spinoff or strategic partnership of its physical commodities business, JPMorgan said.

"During the process, the firm will continue to run its physical commodities business as a going concern and fully support ongoing client activities," it added.

The announcement came just three days after the bank came under scrutiny at a hearing of the U.S. Senate into whether U.S. holding banks should be active in physical commodities and hold assets in that sector (, July 23).

But the bank won’t be exiting its traditional banking activities in the commodity markets, including financial derivatives and the vaulting and trading of precious metals; it said it remains "fully committed" to this part of its business, and will continue to make markets, provide liquidity and offer advice to its clients.

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