March 28, 2013 / 6:11 PM / 4 years ago

Asian metals firm Psons opens subsidiary in Swiss steel hub

* Subsidiary also trades steel; looks at base metals, coal
    * Staff are former Carbofer employees
    * Lugano office is "bridge between East and West"

    By Silvia Antonioli
    NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) - Metals trader and miner
Psons, owned by Indian entrepreneur Pradeep Agarwal, has opened
a subsidiary in Switzerland, to grow its iron ore business and
look for new mining investment opportunities, a company
executive said on Thursday.        
    Psons, which focuses on trade of steel making ingredients
iron ore, coal, chrome and manganese, is headquartered in Hong
Kong and has offices in Asia and Africa.  
    Its new Swiss subsidiary, called Praag, is based in Lugano,
a city in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, known as a
steel, iron ore and coal trading hub, where mostly Italian and
Russian entrepreneurs operate. 
    "Through Praag, Psons wants to grow its iron ore business
expanding its portfolio of suppliers, especially in Europe,
Africa and America," Praag managing director Valerio Teppati
said in a phone interview from Switzerland.
    "We will be a bridge between the East and the West." 
    Praag currently has six staff members, all of them former
employees of Russia-owned Carbofer, a metals trading firm who
was declared bankrupt last year in Lugano after an unsuccessful
attempt to recapitalize through the sale of a stake to Psons
   In addition to trading, Praag will also be searching for
opportunities to invest in mines in Africa and America, added
Teppati, previously Carbofer head of steel trading and business
developer for Metalcorp Group.
    Psons, already owns coal mines in Indonesia and has a
majority stake in Brazilian iron ore mine Zamapa, a
joint-venture with Zamin Ferrous, a firm owned by Pramod
Agarwal, brother of the Psons owner. 
    Praag will also trade steel products and is looking to
include in its portfolio base metals and coal.

 (Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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