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Goldman, JPMorgan, BarCap tighten grip as top OTC commod traders

A sign shows the address of the Goldman Sachs headquarters building in New York
A sign shows the address of the Goldman Sachs headquarters building in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan , Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital tightened their grip on the over-the-counter market for commodity derivatives among corporations and investors last year, a survey released on Tuesday showed.

The three powerhouse banks tied for first place with 41 percent market penetration among companies hedging energy price exposure, according to Greenwich Associates' survey of 268 corporations that use OTC energy derivatives. BarCap and Goldman registered small gains in market share versus the previous year.

All three banks also had an expanding share in U.S. derivatives, where JPMorgan retained the lead. Commodities chief Blythe Masters last year steered the bank's expanded franchise to record revenues exceeding $2.8 billion, exceeding Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley for the first time.

"There are more winners than losers in this year's results, and a lot of this has to do with the fact that the list grew -- clients are using more counterparties than they did in the past," Andy Awad, one of the authors of the survey, said in an interview. On average, U.S. corporations now use 5.2 banks for their energy hedging, up from 4.7 a year ago.

The increased diversification extends a trend that began several years ago, partly because there are more banks in the market and as a result of changing credit relationships, he said. The survey covers only OTC trading, not on-exchange deals, which tend to have a lower margin.

Morgan Stanley , which just a few years ago vied with Goldman Sachs for dominance in the sector, remained stuck in fourth place with its penetration slipping slightly in the United States. It registered a jump in Asia-Pacific to 46 percent, putting it ahead of last year's leader, Goldman.

Among commodity investors, which include active hedge funds and passive pensions and institutions, Goldman Sachs remained the leader. The biggest mover was Deutsche Bank , whose share rose 7 percentage points to put it in fourth place. Morgan Stanley suffered a drop of 4 percentage points to place it fifth overall among the 71 investors surveyed.

The changes come at a time of flux for investors amid new regulations on the $700 trillion OTC derivatives market, of which just over $3 trillion is in commodities, according to a mid-2011 survey by the Bank for International Settlements.

"There's a bit of angst about what these regulations mean to them so there may be money on the sidelines waiting to see how this all shakes out," Awad said.

Unsurprisingly, JPMorgan took the top spot among OTC metals with a 60 percent penetration following its acquisition in mid-2010 of the RBS Sempra global trading operation. It was the first year for Greenwich to survey metals hedgers. BarCap placed second with 35 percent, while Goldman tied for fifth.

The 2012 survey was conducted between September and November 2011. The previous survey had been conducted in the same period of 2010.

Here are comparative results of the surveys:

Global Energy Commodities 2012 2011

Barclays Capital 41% 38%

JPMorgan* 41% 41%

Goldman Sachs* 41% 39%

Morgan Stanley 37% 38%

Deutsche Bank 30% n/a

Citi 27% n/a

U.S. Energy Commodities

JPMorgan* 54% 48%

Barclays Capital 46% 39%

Goldman 46% 35%

European Energy Commodities

Barclays Capital 48% 46%

Morgan Stanley* 42% 45%

BNP Paribas 40% 40%

Goldman Sachs* ** 40%

Asia Pacific Energy Commodities

Morgan Stanley 46% 41%

Goldman Sachs 41% 47%

JPMorgan 41% **

Barclays Capital 39% 43%

Standard Chartered* **

Global Commodities Investors

Goldman Sachs* 63% 65%

Barclays Capital 55% 60%

JPMorgan 51% 50%

Deutsche Bank 47% 40%

Morgan Stanley 39% 43%

Credit Suisse 38% **

Global Metals Commodities

JPMorgan* 60% **

Barclays Capital 35% **

Societe Generale 31% **

Deutsche Bank 28% **

Morgan Stanley 22% **

BNP Paribas 21% **

Goldman Sachs 21% **

* Service quality leader

** no data provided in survey

Energy survey:

2011: Based on responses from 309 global corporates, 124 U.S. corporates, 80 European corporates, and 68 Asia-Pacific corporates that hedge exposure to commodities using OTC derivatives.

2012: Based on responses from 268 corporates that hedge exposure to energy commodities using OTC derivatives: 91 U.S. corporates, 77 European corporates, and 70 Asia-Pacific corporates.

Investors survey:

2011: Based on responses from 72 commodities investors using OTC derivatives.

2012: Based on responses from 71 commodities investors using OTC derivatives.

Metals survey: Based on responses from 97 corporates that hedge exposure to metals using OTC derivatives.

(Reporting by Jonathan Leff; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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