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London's Mandara Capital Closes Doors After 13 Years in Oil Trading

A London-based oil market-maker and derivatives trading firm, Mandara Capital, is in the process of winding down operations, the company’s founder told Bloomberg on Thursday.   

Last week, two sources familiar with the matter told Business Insider that Mandara Capital was shutting down operations after 13 years in the business of derivatives trading in crude and refined products. 

The company’s founder Muwaffaq Salti confirmed the report to Bloomberg this week, but declined to elaborate on the reasons for the winding down of the business.    

Mandara Capital was founded in 2009 by Salti, who was previously global head of fuel oil trading at JP Morgan Chase. Before joining JP Morgan, Salti was a trader in oil and commodities at other Wall Street giants, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. 

In May 2010, Mandara Capital started trading crude futures and fuel oil derivatives. 

While the London-based derivatives trader is shutting down, the biggest traders of physical crude and other commodities have been raking in record profits in recent months. 

For example, commodity trader Trafigura paid its highest-ever dividends for its 2022/2023 financial year, after posting another record-high profit amid volatile markets. 

Trafigura, one of the biggest independent oil and commodity traders in the world, said in its 2022/2023 fiscal year results earlier this month that its net profit jumped to about $7.4 billion for the year to September 30, 2023, up from $7 billion for the previous fiscal year, which was the then-record-high profit for the privately owned trading group. 

Trafigura paid $5.9 billion in dividends to around 1,200 of its top executives and traders, who have received huge paychecks over the past two years as commodity trading houses reaped the benefits of high volatility in the energy and metals commodity markets.

“Exceptional earnings were achieved during the first half of the year as our teams provided valuable services to our customers in disrupted energy markets and captured opportunities in a volatile environment,” Trafigura said. 

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By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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