By Sarah McFarlane and Nigel Hunt
LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - CME Group, the dominant
exchange in global grains and oilseeds trading but not prominent
in coffee, cocoa and sugar, said on Friday that it has hired two
soft commodity specialists.
Peter Blogg and Eric Hasham had in the past worked on soft
commodity contracts for NYSE Liffe, the commodity trading arm of
NYSE Euronext. These contracts include cocoa, coffee and
The CME declined to comment on whether the hires related to
any plans it might have to expand in soft commodity markets.
CME Group, through its Chicago Board of Trade subsidiary,
has long provided the global benchmark for prices of grains and
oilseeds with its contracts for corn, wheat, soybeans, soybean
oil and soybean meal.
Dealers say the IntercontinentalExchange Inc's
agreement to buy NYSE Euronext could create an opportunity for
the CME if any contracts are spun-off.
The deal is still subject to European Union antitrust
approval, which market players say might require some NYSE Liffe
contracts to be sold.
The CME could also explore launching its own rival soft
Traders and brokers on NYSE Liffe soft agricultural
commodity markets have expressed concern that ICE's takeover of
their contracts may create a near monopoly as the ICE and Liffe
exchanges together make up the vast majority of global cocoa,
coffee and sugar derivatives trading.
EU antitrust regulators will examine the takeover, in line
with a request from the exchange operators themselves, a
spokesman for the European Commission said earlier this week.