JPMorgan nears sale of parts of physical commodities unit - WSJ

A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co is close to announcing the sale of parts of its physical commodities business - one of the most powerful oil and metals desks on Wall Street - to Swiss trading house Mercuria for $1 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. The deal, which carried a smaller price than originally announced, could close as soon as later on Thursday, the Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. Certain parts of the business will be sold to other buyers, it said. ( The biggest U.S. bank had originally agreed in March to sell the entire business to Mercuria for 2.16 billion pounds because of rising regulatory and political pressures, and so it could concentrate on its core lending business. JPMorgan still intends to exit the business and get $3.5 billion overall once proceeds from the sales of the individual projects are added to the Mercuria sale, the WSJ said. JPMorgan and Mercuria did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Ted Kerr)

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