October 2, 2008 / 5:13 PM / 9 years ago

UBS to close energy and soft commodities-traders

LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS AG UBSN.VX is set to announce the closure of its energy and soft commodity trading desks, trading sources said on Thursday.

UBS Metals group, including precious and industrial metals, is not believed to be included in the job cuts. UBS is a major player in the gold market.

UBS declined comment.

Among banks trading commodities, UBS ranks in a second tier group behind top players Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

The company exited some continental European power and gas markets earlier this year but maintained power and gas operations elsewhere in northwest Europe, UK and North America. It also continued to trade in crude and refined products.

The bank has slashed 7,000 jobs so far this year in a bid to shore up its financial position after $42 billion of writedowns caused by U.S. subprime mortgage exposure.

Chairman Peter Kurer, speaking on Thursday, said headcount and operating costs were in the process of being reduced.

A source familiar with the situation at UBS said the bank was considering cutting another 1,900 posts in investment banking, equities and fixed income. (Reporting by David Sheppard; Editing by James Jukwey)

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