Kenmare axes JP Morgan

Marion Dakers

MBIQUE-FOCUSED miner Kenmare Resources ditched JP Morgan Cazenove in favour of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as one of its joint brokers yesterday, as it attempts to ramp up the expansion of its titanium mines.

Kenmare, which posted a 71 per cent year-on-year rise in titanium, ilmenite and zircon production yesterday, revealed the switch in a separate statement but declined to comment further.

JP Morgan had acted as broker for the FTSE 250-listed miner for around four years, helping to place shares and underwrite warrants alongside long-term brokers Canaccord Genuity, Davy Stockbrokers and Mirabaud Securities, which continue to work for the firm.

Kenmare Resources is one of a lucrative clutch of recent client wins for RBC Capital Markets, which has been hired to act as broker for several high-profile companies including Resolution, Dana Petroleum and Petra Diamonds in the last 12 months.

Kenmare said it hopes to increase production by 50 per cent before 2012 to cash in on rising commodity prices after enjoying runaway demand from China.

The Dublin-based firm said its Moma mine produced 496,000 tonnes in the second half of 2010.

JP Morgan and RBC Capital Markets both declined to comment when contacted by City A.M.

While the loss of a FTSE 250 firm is a blow for JP Morgan Cazenove, Kenmare’s decision to axe the bank will barely dent JP Morgan’s reputation as the most prolific broker in the City.

JP Morgan Cazenove acts as broker for 35 of the FTSE 100, according to the latest Hemscott guide, and advises 244 clients.

Laurence Hollingworth, once the lead adviser for Kenmare at JPM, has enough to keep him busy in his new role as head of UK investment banking.

RBC Capital Markets is making a reputation for itself as a collector of big broking contracts, having scooped Resolution, Dana Petroleum and Petra Diamonds in the last 12 months.

The bank has close to 100 financiers working for its global mining business, with a client list that includes Barrick Gold, the world’s biggest gold miner, Shore Gold and First Quantum.

Directors Matthew Coakes and Richard Horrocks-Taylor will lead the team working with Kenmare.