BNP Halts New Commodity Trade Finance Deals as It Reviews Unit

(Bloomberg) — BNP Paribas SA has suspended new commodity trade finance deals while it reviews its involvement in the business in Europe, Middle East and Africa, according to people familiar with the matter.

The French bank, one of the largest lenders to global commodity traders, has recently told clients that no new deals will be concluded unless there’s a contractual obligation, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. BNP is currently reviewing options for the future of its EMEA commodity trade finance business, the people said.

The move comes after the bank took a hit from commodity trade houses facing financial stress from Dubai to the U.S., the people said. BNP’s commodity trade finance team suffered heavy losses from the bank’s exposure to companies including crop trader Phoenix Group, energy firm GP Global Group as well as coffee dealer Coex Coffee International Inc.,

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