* Western banks under pressure over commodities
* China expands rapidly in commodities trading
PARIS, Aug 5 One of China's top securities
brokers has bought parts of the commodities trading unit of
French bank Natixis in the latest move by Chinese
institutions to expand into natural resources markets.
Western banks that trade raw materials face increased
regulatory and political pressure, with some market leaders such
as JPMorgan considering selling, spinning off or
clinching strategic partnerships for their commodities desks.
A Natixis spokeswoman said China's Shenzhen-listed GF
Securities had bought Natixis' London-based
commodities brokerage unit. She added the deal did not include
some client-based commodities trading activities at Natixis,
which will continue.
A statement posted on the Shenzhen stock exchange website
said GF Securities' wholly-owned subsidiary, Hong-Kong GF
Futures, acquired UK's Natixis Commodity Markets Limited for
Chinese companies have long been expanding into commodities
trading amid booming demand for resources at home. Chinese oil
firms have amassed powerful trading desks in Europe and the
But while China's massive demand for resources, fuelled by
its rapid industrialisation, has underpinned worldwide markets
for everything from oil to iron ore, Chinese banks have been
relatively slow to embrace commodities trading.
Last week, sources told Reuters that South Africa's Standard
Bank is in talks to sell its London commodity trading
business to its biggest shareholder, Industrial and Commercial
Bank of China.
Last year, Bank of China Ltd became the first
Chinese member of the London Metal Exchange.
Natixis has a midsized commodities trading desk employing
several dozens of people with a focus on metals and energy.