LBMA Plans New Gold Fix – Desperate Attempt To Maintain Status Quo

LBMA Plans New Gold Fix – Desperate Attempt To Maintain Status Quo

Posted on September 20, 2014 by Mark O’Byrne — 1 Comment ↓

In other LBMA related news, Reuters reported today that there are at least 15 companies interested in running the upcoming replacement to the London ‘Gold Fixing’ auction. Like the recently introduced replacement to the ‘Silver Fixing’ which is now being run by the CME Group and Thomson Reuters, the LBMA has appointed itself as the coordinator for a new London Gold Price auction and is currently soliciting Requests for Proposals (RfPs) from interested parties.

When the new silver fixing auction was being debated in the summer, the World Gold Council (WGC) took the initiative and organised a conference of gold market participants including miners and refiners to work out the key features of a new gold price auction. This WGC initiative appears to have been shot down by the LBMA who felt threatened that a gold mining representative organisation was muscling in on the London gold ‘price discovery’ mechanism.

In advance of the LBMA choosing the winning bid, which may well be CME Group/Thomson Reuters again, the LBMA will be holding another seminar for ‘market participants’ that will feature presentations from the short-listed candidates.

As per a similar LBMA Silver Price seminar that was held in June, the upcoming LBMA gold price seminar will no doubt include various concerned regulators attending as ‘observers’ such as the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as well as the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA).

ISDA will be concerned about how ‘price discovery’ in the new LBMA Gold Price auction will impact the huge outstanding pile of gold price related derivatives that ISDA coordinates. Since gold is a monetary metal and is strategic as the basis of all fiat currencies, the Bank of England will no doubt be sending senior representatives to the seminar to protect the Bank’s interests.

And since trade ‘clearing’ of the phenomenally large volume of loco London unallocated account gold fixing trades is so important for the six bullion bank members of London Precious Metals Clearing Limited, it will be a given that HSBC, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, ScotiaMocatta and UBS will attend the LBMA seminar in an attempt to preserve the City of London’s unallocated account clearing status quo.

LBMA Gold and Silver Forward Curves Withdrawn From Next Monday (22nd September 2014)

From next Monday, September 22, the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) will cease to publish and supply end-of-day forward curve data for gold and silver forward trades to the London Metal Exchange (LME) and LCH.Clearnet.

Therefore, today is the last business day that this long dated forward pricing data will be supplied by the LBMA.

Forward trades are over the counter trades where the two participants agree to buy/sell gold or silver now and sell/buy it back at a later date, usually with one leg of the trade being gold or silver and the other leg being US dollars.

Since the LME will no longer have this data, they cannot price forward trades and so cannot provide a clearing service for London gold forwards since they will not have pricing data to ‘mark to market’ any outstanding gold forwards for their clients.

This forward curve data had been supplied by the eight LBMA forward market makers since 2009, and then by seven market makers after Deutsche Bank dropped out earlier this year.

The CME Group also provides a clearing service for gold forwards and it is unclear how the cessation of the pricing data to the LME might affect the CME’s service. The CME Group was recently appointed by the LBMA to be the calculation agent and platform provider for the new LBMA Silver Price.

Shorter term gold forward data, in the form of Gold Forward Offered rates (GOFO) will continue to be supplied by the forward market makers and published by the LBMA. Therefore, the gold/silver forwards decision by the LBMA and its associated Market Makers will not affect (GOFO) data. GOFO data will still, for the time being, be published in London each business day at 11am.

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