UBS is expanding commodities coverage to include investor-led flow trading in agriculture, base metals and energy, the Swiss bank said on Wednesday. UBS which suffered heavy writedowns during the financial crisis and had to be bailed out by the Swiss government was already active in precious metals. In January 2009 the wealth management giant took the radical step of selling its base metals, oil, and U.S. power and gas business to Barclays. It said at the time it would exit most commodities businesses, including agricultural goods and base metals. It held on to precious metals, index and exchange-traded commodities. Jean Bourlot, global head of commodities at UBS Investment Bank, heads a team of around 40, which he plans to double within two years. “UBS has always maintained its core strengths in commodities, like our market-leading indices and precious metals offerings — in that sense we never left,” Bourlot said in a statement. “Quite simply our expansion into flow trading, in areas such as agriculture, will leverage and complement what already exists inside UBS,” he added. The Swiss Franc lost nearly 1% to the EUR but traded sideways against its safe haven counterparts the Japanese Yen and US Dollar.
Written by James Rowe