Jan 17 Australia's Macquarie Bank said
on Friday that it had not concluded a deal to buy the uranium
trading desk of Goldman Sachs after two trade sources
said that the transaction had been agreed.
"Macquarie denies the deal has been done," a spokesperson
for the Australian investment bank in London said.
Goldman put its uranium desk up for sale late last year. The
U.S. bank acquired the desk in 2009 as part of a deal to buy the
London-based trading operation of Constellation Energy.
Macquarie, which is expanding its commodity trading
operations, has emerged as the main candidate to buy the uranium
"I understand that Goldman have sold their uranium business
to Macquarie," a senior trading source said, asking not to be
identified. A second trading source said the same.
The Australian investment bank is also still in the running
to buy JPMorgan's physical commodity trading operations
competing with two other firms, trading house Mercuria and
private equity firm Blackstone, according to industry sources.
Acquiring JPMorgan's physical commodity business would
propel Macquarie into the top ranks of natural resources traders
Wall Street's role in physical commodity trading has come
under intense pressure in the last six months, as politicians in
the United States question whether banks back-stopped by the
government are taking undue risks by dealing in tankers of oil
and other materials.
Morgan Stanley, another Wall Street heavyweight, in December
announced a deal with Russian oil major Rosneft, which
is taking on the majority of the bank's physical oil trading
Uranium aside, Goldman has stood out amongst the top-tier
U.S. banks in commodities by saying it plans to continue to
operate in physical commodity markets as this is necessary to
support its clients in operations such as hedging.
Goldman held around $200 million worth of low-grade uranium
stocks late last year as part of its trading operation,
according to industry sources.
Goldman also has a marketing arrangement with AngloGold
Ashanti, South Africa's largest uranium producer, to
sell the uranium it produces as a by-product of its gold mining