Vitol CEO confirms energy trading giant is getting into metals

Credit: Vitol Group

Vitol Group confirmed that it’s starting to rebuild a trading book for metals after a long stint out of the market, with an “exciting decade” ahead.

“It’s a relatively small addition to our business,” chief executive officer Russell Hardy said at the Financial Times Commodities Summit on Tuesday.

Hardy’s comments are the first public acknowledgment of a step the energy trading giant has been making over the past six months. Vitol brought in an iron ore trader last year, Bloomberg previously reported. It’s also in the process of hiring two base metals traders who recently left rival Mercuria Energy Group, Reuters reported last week.

The buildout comes as Vitol — the world’s biggest independent commodities trader — expands beyond oil, gas and power after banking net profits of more than $28 billion in the past two years.

The firm was burned by an earlier foray into metals trading when it bought Euromin — a company that focused on trading metals, especially in the former Soviet Union, in the 1990s.

“I wouldn’t describe it as our finest hour — we struggled a little bit with managing the risks,” Hardy said. “So we’re very much starting from scratch again and really we’re just scratching the surface.”

(By Archie Hunter and Jack Farchy)


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *