Top 4 traders have 60 bln in equity after record profits
Retained earnings soar even after record dividends
Trading houses are borrowing less from banks
Investment opportunities remain limited

LONDON, Feb 26 Reuters As the world39;s top global energy trading houses prepare for their biggest annual industry gettogether this week in London they face a growing problem, what to do with their cash.

Most trading houses, which are privately owned and controlled by their employees, disclose little about their cash position, equity or dividends.

But according to more than 10 trading and banking sources and Reuters calculations, Vitol, Trafigura, Mercuria and Gunvor are collectively sitting on billions of dollars, even after paying out record dividends.

We borrow much less from banks and are waiting for good investment opportunities. But those are slim, especially in lossmaking green energy, said an executive at one of the top trading houses, who declined to be named.

Trading houses, which already control large areas of global oil, gas and power markets, are finding it difficult to grow, while poor returns in recent years on wind, solar and hydrogen assets have irked some investors.

The cash conundrum is likely to be one of the topics on the table as traders gather for receptions and parties in London ballrooms and pubs for International Energy Week.

Vitol, the world39;s biggest trader, has increased its total equity to 26 billion even after paying 5 billion in record…

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