Mercuria in talks with JP Morgan

Fast-growing trading house Mercuria, led by two former Goldman Sachs executives, has become the front-runner to buy the physical commodities unit of JP Morgan, one of the most powerful oil and metals desks on Wall Street, it was reported last night. JP Morgan 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.