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JPMorgan launches $3.3 billion physical commodity business sale

A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar
A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co has launched the sale of its physical commodities business, circulating offering documents to potential buyers and valuing the assets at $3.3 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

JPMorgan's sales pitch comes after the bank announced it was exiting physical commodity trading in July, as Wall Street faces heightened scrutiny from regulators and politicians on their role in the natural resources supply chain.

The largest part of the physical business is the bank's crude trading operations, which the bank values at $1.7 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. That's followed by the firm's North American natural gas assets at $800 million and base metals - including the Henry Bath warehouse company - at $500 million.

The launch of the offering documents was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

Wall Street's largest bank told prospective buyers that the physical business generated $750 million in annual income, before compensation costs, the Journal reported.

(Reporting by Michael Erman in New York and David Sheppard in London; Editing by Eric Beech)

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