March 13, 2020 / 4:15 AM / 24 days ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Macquarie global head of crude trading departs

(Recasts with Macquarie comment)

By Devika Krishna Kumar

NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) - The global head of crude trading at Australia’s top investment bank, Macquarie Group , has left the firm, it confirmed on Friday, but did not say why.

As executive director, Eiman Alian headed the global crude oil and fuel desks, numbering seven people, in Houston, Texas.

He joined Macquarie in June 2018 and was previously a trader at commodities merchant Vitol and Goldman Sachs.

Macquarie spokesman Paul Marriott declined to comment on the reason for the departure, as the bank nears the end of the 2020 financial year on March 31, before a blackout period prior to its May results announcement.

Commodities, including oil, gas, power, metals and agriculture, account for about 15% of the revenue of Macquarie Group, which has about 900 staff, Marriott said. Gas makes up most of the business.

In February, the bank said its commodities and global markets division had a strong contribution from client hedging and trading opportunities, particularly from the global oil, North American and European gas and power and the metals and agriculture businesses.

Morgan Stanley expects Macquarie’s commodity revenue to fall 30% in the second half of the 2020 financial year from a year earlier, to A$830 million ($522 million), it said in a note this week.

After strong profits in 2019, oil traders have been hit hard early in 2020, losing tens of millions of dollars on bets on gasoil price spreads due to an unexpected demand collapse in January, sources have told Reuters.

On Monday, crude prices suffered their biggest daily rout since the 1991 Gulf War, as top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia began a price war that could swamp markets with supply at a time of falling demand due to the rapid spread of a coronavirus. ($1=A$1.59) (Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; Additional reporting by Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Paulina Duran in Sydney; Editing by Tom Brown and Clarence Fernandez)

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