JP Morgan is the largest counterparty to nickel trades.

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About 50,000 tons of Xiang Guangda’s total nickel short position of over 150,000 tons is held through an over-the-counter position with JPMorgan, according to people familiar with the matter. Based on that figure, the tycoon’s company, Tsingshan Holding Group Co., would have owed JPMorgan about $1 billion in margin on Monday. The nickel producer has been struggling to pay margin calls to its banks and brokers, Bloomberg reported this week.

JPMorgan is leading discussions between Xiang and roughly 10 banks and brokers through which his nickel short position is held, the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private.

Tsingshan’s difficulties paying its margin calls have put its banks and brokers in a bind, as they have had to make hefty margin calls of their own at the LME to cover their short positions on the exchange. If Tsingshan walks away from its commitments, the banks stand to lose billions of dollars.


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