StanChart hires ex-Lehman oil trader, eyes expansion

lunes 25 de agosto de 2008 12:22 CEST

By Maryelle Demongeot

SINGAPORE Aug 25 (Reuters) - Former Lehman Brothers trader Cyril Youinou has joined Standard Chartered (STAN.L: Cotización) in Singapore as head of its oil trading desk, StanChart said on Monday, as the bank prepares to expand its Asian energy trading operations.

As director energy derivatives, Youinou will head a team of three traders, which will initially trade crude and oil product derivatives, but would eventually move into physical trading, an industry source said.

StanChart's expansion plan comes as other banks have been closing or relocating part of their trading desks, after taking a beating from the U.S. subprime crisis.

Energy trading has also become more difficult due to heighthened price volatility after oil prices CLc1 surged 45 percent between January and mid-July to records near $150 a barrel, before sliding to around $115 recently.

But StanChart (2888.HK: Cotización), whose business is Asia-focused, has shown resilience.

The bank beat analysts' forecasts with a 31 percent jump in first-half profit, as Asian economic growth continued to outpace western economies. Its wholesale banking arm grew strongly, with pretax profit for the six months to end-June reaching $2.59 billion.

Frenchman Youinou, 31, started his career in Singapore with Societe Generale before joining J.Aron, the energy and commodities arm of U.S. invesment bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Cotización).

He later moved to Lehman, first in Tokyo and then Singapore when the U.S. investment bank opened its trading office here.   Continuación...