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Friday, February 14, 2014

Oil trader Phibro owner Occidental says reducing prop trade, (NYSE: OXY)

Occidental Petroleum, the global oil firm that bought Connecticut-based hedge fund and trading house Phibro nearly five years ago, said on Friday that it is cutting back on proprietary trading. Oxy, as it is known, is working to streamline its business to sharpen its focus on booming U.S. oil patches like the Permian Basin of Texas. It bought Phibro, the trading house run by renowned oil bull Andy Hall, from Citigroup in 2009."Consistent with Occidental's strategic review to focus in core businesses, it also plans to reduce its exposure to proprietary trading activities related to crude oil and other commodities," Oxy said in its earnings statement.A spokeswoman did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment. It was unclear how much of Occidental's proprietary trading is done by the company itself rather than Westport, Connecticut-based Phibro, or Hall's $3.5 billion hedge fund Astenbeck.When Oxy made its purchase, Hall, 63, was in the midst of a more than decade-long profit streak, reaping billions of dollars by betting on a long-term rise in crude oil prices. The century-old trading firm, formerly known as Philipp Brothers, had sold its refineries and focused on proprietary trading.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Occidental) conducts its operations through various subsidiaries and affiliates. Shares of OXY traded higher by 3.78% or $3.49/share to $95.76. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $77.21 and as high as $99.42. On average, 3844620 shares of OXY exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 8780741.