Morgan Stanley 'committed' to selling oil trading unit to Rosneft

PURCHASE Tue May 13, 2014 10:13am EDT

PURCHASE N.Y. May 13 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley said on Tuesday it plans to proceed with the sale of its global physical oil trading divisions to Russian state-run oil company Rosneft despite the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

"We're strategically committed to that transaction ... and we plan to close it," Chief Executive Officer James Gorman told reporters after the investment bank's annual shareholder meeting, adding that he will not speculate on whether geopolitical conditions will deteriorate further.

The transaction was announced on Dec. 20, before Russia launched its incursion into Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

On April 28 the United States imposed sanctions on Rosneft president and chairman Igor Sechin in response to Russia's intervention into Ukraine. The sanctions only applied to Sechin, not Rosneft more broadly.

At Morgan Stanley's annual meeting, shareholders voted to approve all of the company's directors, its auditor and its executive compensation package.

In response to reporters' questions about how the bank's trading results were faring so far in the second quarter, Gorman said only that markets are "rough."

JPMorgan Chase & Co said in a May 2 securities filing that it expected second-quarter revenue from bond and equity trading to fall by around one-fifth from the same quarter in 2013. (Reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra in Purchase; Writing by Peter Rudegeair in New York)