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Updated from 12:15 a.m. EST



) --

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. Report

has reached an agreement to buy the global oil, global metals and European power and gas assets of

RBS Sempra Commodities

for $1.7 billion.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

RBS Sempra Commodities will retain its North American natural gas and power and solutions businesses.

Royal Bank of Scotland

(RBS) - Get Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc Report


Sempra Energy

(SRE) - Get Sempra Energy Report

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will explore strategic options for the remaining businesses, a press release said.

Sempra Energy has retained JPMorgan as its financial advisor to review potential alternatives.

The North American pieces of RBS Sempra Commodities account for 64% of RBS Sempra's trading revenue, the

Wall Street Journal

reports, citing a November filing with the

Securities and Exchange Commission


Sempra Energy is seen as the most likely candidate to buy the North American operations. Other bidders could include

Deutsche Bank

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and Australia's

Macquarie Group

, both of which had put in bids for all of RBS Sempra Commodities, the



RBS, which paid $1.7 billion for a 51% stake in the business in April 2008, had to sell its stake in RBS Sempra under a deal to receive aid from the U.K. government.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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