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CME looks to bid for London gold price solution, after claiming silver

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CME Group has expressed interest in taking part in the proposal for reform to the London gold fix, the exchange's head of metals said Thursday.

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In reaction to news that the London Gold Market Fixing Ltd. and London Bullion Market Association are working together to reform the current London gold fix, CME's head of metals Harriet Hunnable said the exchange would be "delighted" to be part of this process.

LGMFL said Wednesday that -- with support from the LBMA-- it is looking at the possibility of appointing a third party to administrate the London Gold Fix.

The company said that it "has commenced an request for proposal process with a view to appointing a third party to assume responsibility for the administration of the London gold fixing. LGMFL will continue to liaise with the LBMA, the FCA, and other stakeholders as appropriate, as the RFP process develops."


In an official statement Thursday, Harriet Hunnable, whose full title is executive director metals products at CME Group, said: "CME is pleased that the LGMFL has begun the process to appoint a third party to assume responsibility for the administration of the London gold fixing."

The company is also seeking to recruit an independent chairperson for the board of LGMFL.

The company represents the four gold fixing banks -- HSBC, Soc Gen, Scotia and Barclays.

The London gold fix has been in the spotlight for a number of months due to increased regulatory pressure on benchmarks.

It was announced Friday, after market consultation, that CME/Thomson Reuters had been chosen to supply the solution to the London silver price, the London Bullion Market Association said. Platts also bid for the contract.

The consultation involved two market surveys, a seminar and numerous meetings with market participants, solution providers and regulators.

It followed news that the London silver fix -- a benchmark price set by the London Silver Fixing Co. since 1897 -- will cease in its current form as of August 14 on increased regulatory scrutiny.

The new product will be called the London Silver Price.

This has led many to believe that the gold fix will be next in the firing line.

One source said the changes to the silver fix would not necessarily be a blueprint for changes to gold pricing in London.

Hunnable added that, "having won the Silver Price mandate in partnership with Thomson Reuters, CME would be delighted to be part of this proposal process and look forward to engaging with London gold market participants."

--Ben Kilbey, ben.kilbey@platts.com
--Edited by Jonathan Fox, jonathan.fox@platts.com