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CheMatch.com buys brick-and-mortar broker

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Houston--Chemicals e-marketplace CheMatch.com Friday acquired The Energy Group, a brick-and-mortar brokerage firm focusing on petrochemicals and gasoline components. Those products fit in well with CheMatch's strengths in bulk commodity chemicals, plastics and fuel products, CheMatch said. The Energy Group is also a specialist in trading over-the-counter derivatives based on energy products. Trading financial and not just physical products will be an increasingly important component of online exchanges, which have been buying up phone brokers to boost liquidity in their e-markets. ChemConnect Inc., for instance, has acquired several brokers, including the Universal Chemical Brokerage Ltd. earlier this fall.
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