Morgan Stanley in talks to sell majority of commodity business: FT

Wed Oct 3, 2012 9:58pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Morgan Stanley (MS.N) is in talks to sell a majority stake in its commodities business to the Qatar Investment Authority, the Financial Times said, quoting people familiar with the deal.

The investment bank had for the past few months been trying to sell a minority stake in the commodity business, which specializes in trading oil, gas and electricity.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

The FT said selling the commodities business to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund would allow traders in that unit to continue trading for their own books, which will be banned for banks under upcoming U.S. regulations such as the Volcker rule.

No price had been agreed yet, the newspaper reported.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) were the leading commodity trading firms on Wall Street in the two decades preceding the financial crisis. Morgan Stanley's commodities trading revenue dropped nearly 60 percent from 2009 to 2011.

(Reporting by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Michael Urquhart)

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