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Fortis Bank SA/NV is entering the LME and precious metals derivative markets through Fortis Commodity Brokerage (FCB), a division of the bank based in London.

Fortis Bank SA/NV is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for the conduct of UK business. FCB’s main activities currently include advising, clearing and executing cocoa, coffee and sugar futures and options contracts on the commodity exchanges. Its clients are producers, traders and industrial processors of these products. FCB will now expand these services to include: aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, tin, aluminium alloy, nickel, gold, silver, platinum and palladium. These new activities are being undertaken to further solidify partnerships with metals and steel customers and to provide them with an expanded product range and flexible solutions. FCB Metals will have the exclusive and worldwide mandate within Fortis Bank SA/NV to offer hedging and investment services to its customers, as well as the institutional market place.

John King has been appointed as head of the base and precious Metals operation and Gerhard Schubert will join as Director of the Precious metals business. Seamus O”Connell will head the base and precious metals administration. Further hires will be announced in due course.

“We anticipate commencing this business in the first quarter of 2004 by which time the regulatory formalities will have been completed,” comments Paul Schuilwerve, managing director, global commodities group at Fortis. The bank will apply for associate broker (Category 4) LME membership and clear through its wholly owned subsidiary Fortis Clearing London Ltd (Category 2). In addition the operation will apply for LBMA and LPPM memberships.