Asian and European banks registered as U.S. swap dealers this week, joining Wall Street rivals in complying with new rules that aim to shed light on the opaque $650 trillion derivatives market. Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Société Générale, BNP Paribas and Nomura were among the swap dealers listed in the registry of the National Futures Association (NFA), a U.S. regulator.
But large energy traders such as Royal Dutch Shell, Cargill and Glencore were conspicuously absent from the list, a sign of how the market is dominated by investment banks that largely serve speculators. In 2009, the world's largest countries agreed to clamp down on the unregulated swaps market, which has been blamed as a major contributor to the global financial crisis.
Regulators such as the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission are setting tighter standards for trading and data reporting, among a host of other measures. Swaps can be used to protect against the financial effects of a change in interest rates,
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