The London Metal Exchange along with World Gold Council is starting new endeavor called LMEprecious. Goldman Sachs, ICBC Standard Bank, Morgan Stanley, Natixis, OSTC and Societe General are also co-owners in this joint venture. They have announced their intentions to introduce a suite of exchange-traded and centrally cleared precious metals products. It’s after a long gap of 30 years London Metal Exchange (LME) is getting back into precious metals. This not only a great opportunity, but the precious metal industry is in dire need of such efficient and professional marketplace. As the departure of principal banks in the wake of the Libor scandal had created a vacuum and the Gold Fix could be manipulated. Also, the age-old process of rate fix conducted privately through banks has always been raising eyebrows. Up to as recently as 18 months back, the price of gold was “set, or fixed”, twice a day by a group of banks by telephonic conference with clients. This is now replaced by an electronic system but most of the spot gold trading in London is still done directly, privately.
This move of forming LMEprecious is intended to bring transparency to the trading of gold, silver and other precious metals. LMEprecious will be operative in the first half of the year 2017. It will introduce centrally-cleared gold and silver contracts, and will later add platinum and palladium. The World Gold Council has been exploring the possibility of the introduction of exchange-trading since early 2015 at the same time LME was also keen in reentering into trading of precious metals since the closure of London Gold Futures Market, in the year 1985.
Aram Shishmanian, the Chief Executive of the World Gold Council, said: “This is another important step in the modernization of the gold market. We are proud to have been the catalyst for this process, defining the new trading capabilities and driving market engagement. We are confident that the new offering will be successfully implemented and supported by the market.”
This is also considered as LME’s step to capture part of the $5 trillion over-the-counter gold and silver market in London. It will include contracts for the spot, daily and monthly futures, options and calendar spread contracts – according to the official statement released.
Garry Jones, the Chief Executive of the LME, said “LMEprecious opens up trading opportunities for existing LME members and their clients, as well as for new participants wishing to take advantage of optimized precious metals trading in a complete transparent way.”