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Cargill joins Wall Street banks as swap dealer

By Douwe Miedema

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Commodities trader Cargill Inc has registered as a swap dealer with the U.S. derivatives regulator, a sign that new financial-stability rules have started impacting firms well outside Wall Street.

Cargill is the first major non-financial company to acquire the status of "swaps dealer" on the registry of the National Futures Association (NFA), which lists the biggest players in the $630 trillion market.

So far, only large Wall Street firms had lined up with the NFA after registration became mandatory at the beginning of the year, such as JPMorgan , Bank of America and Deutsche Bank .

Cargill could not immediately be reached for comment.

In 2009, the world's largest economies 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 (CFTC) are setting tighter standards for trading and data reporting, among a host of other measures. Firms must also register when they deal in swaps.

A small group of companies that use swaps for genuine hedging of physical assets such as commodities, or use them to hedge financial liabilities in their daily business, is exempt from the new rules.

But any other trader hitting a volume of more than $8 billion in swaps in the past 12 months needed to register as of December 31, according to the CFTC's rules.

The CFTC endowed the NFA with responsibility for registration of swap dealers, just as it is for futures firms.

(Additional reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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