March 9, 2016 / 3:00 PM / a year ago

MET International sets up LNG trading desk as supply booms

MILAN/LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) - Switzerland-based MET International AG is taking the plunge into liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading just as new supply from the United States and Australia makes the fuel more plentiful and affordable.

Diego Galimberti has been hired to lead the firm's new LNG trading desk, company spokeswoman Beatrix Staar said.

Galimberti, formerly the head of long-term gas supplies and LNG at Axpo Trading, joined MET International on March 1 to help secure LNG for the company's portfolio of assets.

He will report to the head of wholesale and origination, György Domokos Vargha.

MET International was established in 2010 as the natural gas trading arm of parent MET Group, whose activities include gas, oil and power generation in Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, according to information on its website.

Surging LNG production capacity from new projects in Australia and the United States, combined with faltering demand, is creating a global glut of the fuel, pushing down spot prices and making LNG more competitive in Europe's power mix.

"Given the changes in the LNG market environment in 2015 the decision was made to establish an LNG desk at the Zug headquarters in Switzerland," MET Group spokeswoman Staar said in an emailed statement.

"As MET Group has a considerable sized sales portfolio focusing on industrial clients and power plants mainly in the illiquid parts of Europe, it is continuously optimizing its portfolio (using the) trading capabilities it has been building in the last five years on a European scale," she said. (Editing by Susan Fenton)

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