Business as usual claims grain broker Refco

Some grain traders in the UK have taken steps to lessen their exposure to global futures and derivatives broker Refco, after revelations of $430m accounting irregularities at the parent company.

The US-based business, Refco Inc, filed for bankruptcy on Monday (17 Oct).

But its London brokerage, Refco Overseas, remains outside bankruptcy and has continued to trade commodity futures.

A spokesman for the London derivatives market, LIFFE, described it as business as usual.

A futures trader in London said that trading at Refco had been as busy as ever, adding that clients appeared to be standing by the company. There was no problem with liquidity, he said.

But grain traders appeared to be taking a cautious line, with some moving their futures contracts to other brokers.

“Most of the larger traders have more than one broker,” said David Sheppard, wheat director at Gleadell.

Turnaround specialist J.C. Flowers has agreed to buy Refco’s regulated futures trading arm for $768m (£434m), but the sale will go to auction in the US.


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