December 7, 2012 / 2:50 AM / 5 years ago

Citi gas trades among those that sparked UK probe-Guardian

LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Citigroup has said its traders made two of the gas deals that prompted investigations by Britain’s financial and energy regulators, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported on Friday, although Citigroup has denied any impropriety in the matter.

On Sept. 28, Citigroup traders conducted two of six deals which priced gas at 58 pence, substantially below the price of other deals earlier in the day and later, the Guardian said.

The Guardian said that Citigroup was not responsible for the first deal, which it said would be the likely focus of the Financial Services Authority’s attention, and that it was unknown which companies made the other four gas trades at that price on Sept. 28.

A Citigroup spokesman declined to confirm whether Citigroup had made the trades in question and said it had done nothing improper.

“Citi’s activity in the natural gas market on Sept. 28 was related to client activity, and all Citi trades were completed at levels consistent with the context of the market at the time they were executed,” he told Reuters in an e-mailed statement.

In its report, the Guardian said: “There is no suggestion at this stage that Citigroup has acted illegally or improperly.”

The FSA and energy regulator Ofgem are investigating allegations made by a whistleblower that traders have manipulated Britain’s wholesale gas prices.

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