Report: Morgan Stanley in talks to sell oil unit to Rosneft

|About: Morgan Stanley (MS)|By:, SA News Editor

Morgan Stanley (MS -0.3%) reportedly is in talks to sell its global oil business to top Russian oil producer Rosneft (RNFTF), as the bank continues to explore options for the commodities business amid falling revenue and rising scrutiny from regulators who are reviewing banks’ activities in the sector.

Stanley's commodity business posted a return on equity of less than 5% in 2012, the lowest among its trading businesses, and the oil unit represents a major part of that.

Any sale probably would include TransMontaigne (TLP +1.2%), a petroleum and chemical transportation and storage company, and the bank’s 49% stake in Heidmar Inc., which manages ~100 oil and chemical tankers.