WASHINGTON Feb 21 Commodities trader Cargill
Inc has registered as a swap dealer with the U.S.
derivatives regulator, a sign that new financial-stability rules
have started impacting firms well outside Wall Street.
Cargill is the first major non-financial company to acquire
the status of "swaps dealer" on the registry of the National
Futures Association (NFA), which lists the biggest players in
the $630 trillion market.
So far, only large Wall Street firms had lined up with the
NFA after registration became mandatory at the beginning of the
year, such as JPMorgan, Bank of America and
Cargill could not immediately be reached for comment.
In 2009, the world's largest economies agreed to clamp down
on the unregulated swaps market, which has been blamed as a
major contributor to the global financial crisis.
Regulators such as the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC) are setting tighter standards for trading and
data reporting, among a host of other measures. Firms must also
register when they deal in swaps.
A small group of companies that use swaps for genuine
hedging of physical assets such as commodities, or use them to
hedge financial liabilities in their daily business, is exempt
from the new rules.
But any other trader hitting a volume of more than $8
billion in swaps in the past 12 months needed to register as of
Dec. 31, according to the CFTC's rules.
The CFTC endowed the NFA with responsibility for
registration of swap dealers, just as it is for futures firms.