Credit Agricole CIB plans to boost commodity desk

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank plans to expand its commodity trading operations and enter the European physical gas and power markets by the end of March, its global head of commodities said.

The bank, which has changed its name from Calyon, will have 90 front-office commodities staff by the end of the year, Martin Fraenkel told Reuters yesterday, without specifying the current number. Calyon had about 50 globally in 2008.

“The bank has identified commodities as a growth area and it follows that if it's a growth area we need to devote resources against it, including capital,” Fraenkel said.

Credit Agricole CIB will start trading physical European gas and power as well as coal derivatives through an energy trading partnership with French utility EDF. “We expect to go live with the first stage of physical trading of gas and power by the end of the first quarter of 2010,” he said.