JP Morgan Ahead In Race To Acquire RBS Sempra Commodities

JP Morgan Chase has left Deutsche Bank and Australia-based Macquarie behind in the race to buy RBS S

Reportedly, the European Commission has ordered RBS to divest its stake in RBS Sempra, a joint venture between the rescued RBS and US-based Sempra Energy late last year.

Led by Blythe Masters, JP Morgan's commodities unit was able to double its presence after the purchase of gas and power businesses from Bear Stearns in 2008 and the subsequent acquisition of energy and agriculture operations from UBS.

The transaction, if completed, is expected to further expand the US-based lender's presence in the commodities trading business and place it alongside Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Barclays Capital.

However, analysts suggest, even though the acquisition consolidates JP Morgan's position in metals and agricultural commodities, it would face a large overlap on its North American power and natural gas business, which constitutes a major chunk of RBS Sempra's operations.