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JPMorgan to sell commodities business to Mercuria - WSJ

March 19 (Reuters) - JPMorgan will sell its commodities trading business to Switzerland-based energy-trading company Mercuria Energy Group Ltd, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the situation.

In February, Reuters reported that Mercuria, led by two former Goldman Sachs executives, became the front-runner to buy the physical commodities unit, one of the most powerful oil and metals desks on Wall Street.

The terms of the deal are not yet clear, but when the bank first opened its books to potential buyers in October it valued the assets at $3.3 billion, the newspaper reported. (http://r.reuters.com/jaf77v)

JPMorgan in London declined to comment on the matter. Mercuria could not be reached immediately for comment.

JPMorgan decided to sell its multi-billion dollar physical commodities division last year under rising regulatory and political pressure to retreat to the bank's core business of lending instead of speculating in raw materials.

(Reporting by Chris Peters in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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