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Report: BHP planning commodities trading comeback

Mining giant BHP Group plans to make a comeback in commodities trading as it seeks to increase returns and manage transaction risk, Reuters reported Dec. 18, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

The company reportedly hired Yuna Chang, formerly with midsized base metals trading house Concord Resources, to help it manage the London Metal Exchange base metals book in Singapore.

Under the plan, BHP seeks to gradually add trading capacity across its copper, energy and iron ore divisions, and it will not set up a proprietary trading desk, the sources said, according to the newswire. It is not clear if the company will extend credit to clients as part of new trading arrangements.

BHP abandoned trading around 2006 as it focused on cutting operational risk amid credit-related loss in freight and losses in thermal coal, according to Reuters.

Asked for comment by Reuters, a BHP spokesperson said the company will continue to leverage its physical copper book, which is expected to grow as the Spence copper mine expansion in Chile goes online.

Chang did not respond to the newswire's request for comment made via LinkedIn.