Commonwealth Bank Purchases Macquarie Wool Futures Business

19 October 2004

The Commonwealth Bank today deepened its commitment to the agricultural sector by announcing its purchase of the wool futures trading book, along with the client base, from Macquarie Bank.

Head of Trading Services for the Commonwealth Bank, John Feeney, said the purchase strengthens the Commonwealth Bank’s product platform and ensures buyers and sellers of wool can continue to hedge against unfavourable price movements.,

"At the Commonwealth Bank we are committed to helping all Australians, particularly those in rural areas," Mr Feeney said.

"By assuming the key market-making role in the wool futures market we are helping growers and others in the industry to minimise their risk through price protection. This allows farmers to achieve certainty in their business through more accurate budgeting and capturing of favourable prices independently of when the physical wool is actually delivered.

"Most clients with current open positions with Macquarie Bank can now trade with the Commonwealth Bank. The wool futures facility is also available to Commonwealth Bank clients and those with other institutions.

"Our top priority now is to ensure a smooth transition of the business and the continuity of dealing for the wool growers and buyers", Mr Feeney said.

Executive Director of Macquarie Agricultural Commodities, Peter Thomas, said that after ten years in developing this market Macquarie is pleased to pass the Wool Futures business to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"The Commonwealth Bank has clearly demonstrated a strong commitment to the further growth of a robust wool futures market where growers, processors and all industry participants can confidently hedge their inherent wool price risk. We are pleased to see a strong, competent and committed bank take on this business. The Commonwealth Bank know agriculture, know the bush and are providing a committed service to rural Australia," he said.