Energy trader Gunvor Group says U.S. CFTC investigates Ecuador deals


The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in Washington, DC, US REUTERS / Andrew Kelly

  • Gunvor Reports $ 213 Million Net Profit in H1 2021
  • EBITDA at $ 672 million in H1
  • US DOJ and Switzerland also investigate Gunvor accords in Ecuador
  • Gunvor says he has yet to make arrangements for investigations

LONDON, Sept.28 (Reuters) – Global energy trader Gunvor Group (GGL.UL) is under investigation by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in connection with its transactions in Ecuador, the company said. company in its results for the first half of 2021.

Earlier this year, former employee Raymond Kohut pleaded guilty to participating in what the US Department of Justice called a scheme to bribe Ecuadorian government officials into contracts with state-owned oil company Petroecuador. Read more

Swiss prosecutors said in June that they were also investigating Gunvor’s transactions in Ecuador. Gunvor is based in Geneva. Read more

“Gunvor is not aware of the full scope of the DOJ investigation. As a result, there can be no assurance as to the direction of the investigation,” the company said in the results.

“As part of DOJ’s existing investigation into Ecuador, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission is also investigating.”

The CFTC, which regulates the trading of futures and options, did not immediately respond when contacted by phone and email.

The firm, which said it continued to cooperate with the US authorities, said it had not recorded any provisions in its accounts in connection with the three investigations.

Private company Gunvor, one of the world’s largest independent oil traders, does not usually release detailed financial results. Its half-year results were made public on Tuesday following a rare bond issue earlier this month.

Gunvor reported net profit of $ 213 million for the period, up from $ 231 million in the first half of 2020. Revenue for the period was $ 48 billion compared to $ 24 billion in 2020. The company declared that it had not suffered any impairment in the first half of the year.

The company’s core earnings, or EBITDA, were $ 672 million for the first half. Last year, its EBITDA for the full year was $ 1.8 billion.

Its traded volumes increased 28.6% to 118 million tonnes from 91 million tonnes, with crude oil and natural gas being the main drivers. Natural gas represented 40% of the total volume, up 27% from 2020. Crude represented 23%.

Western Europe was the largest trading region, accounting for 52% of sales, followed by North America with 22%.

Former Gunvor employee Kohut worked out of its Houston and Bahamas offices between 2009 and 2019. Kohut’s attorney did not immediately comment.

He was part of a conspiracy that led to the payment of at least $ 22 million in bribes to officials at Petroecuador in a scheme that ran from 2012 to August 2020, according to his guilty plea. Gunvor marketed and sold Ecuadorian oil through contracts with at least two Asian state oil and gas companies that had provided loans to Petroecuador.

Reporting by Julia Payne, additional reporting by Sabrina Valle; edited by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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