* Deal far away from being concrete - source
* BTG Pactual has started a push into commodity markets
(Recasts with information from source)
By Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Josephine Mason
Oct 22 Grupo BTG Pactual SA is considering a bid
for JPMorgan Chase & Co's physical commodities unit, a source
familiar with the matter said, a move which would dovetail with
the Brazilian bank's plans to expand heavily into commodities
sales and trading.
The bank, controlled by billionaire financier Andre Esteves,
is currently analyzing the asset and reviewing its finances,
said the source, who declined to be identified by name because
the process is private.
A deal is, at this point, "far away from being something
concrete," the person said, adding that no amount or terms have
BTG Pactual and JPMorgan declined to comment. News of the
bid was reported earlier by Bloomberg.
Brazil's largest independent investment bank hired former
Noble Group Ltd Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Leiman
to lead its expansion drive into commodities, sources have said.
The same sources have also said that BTG Pactual has
recruited nearly a dozen traders, managers and analysts in
London, Geneva and New York to cover everything from freight to
grains to natural gas.
JPMorgan launched the sale of the business, which includes
its crude oil, natural gas and base metals trading operations,
last week after announcing plans to exit the business in July.
Wall Street banks are facing heightened scrutiny from
regulators and politicians on their role in the natural
resources supply chain.
Bankers and industry sources have said potential buyers
could include foreign banks like BTG Pactual that are not
subject to Federal Reserve regulations, merchant traders that
are expanding into metals markets or wealthy, risk-hungry
investors such as private equity and sovereign wealth funds.
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal in Sao Paulo and Josephine
Mason in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Edwina Gibbs)