UPDATE 1-As silver fix decision nears, LME ties up with Autilla

Wed Jul 9, 2014 4:21pm EDT
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(Adds details in paragraph 2, 10-11)

By Clara Denina

LONDON, July 9 (Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange and technology firm Autilla teamed up on Wednesday to launch a last-minute bid to run the new global silver price benchmark in the closely fought contest to replace the 117-year old London "fix."

The Autilla/LME camp's proposal for an electronic system will likely challenge a joint proposal from exchange operator CME Group Inc and Thomson Reuters Corp, who are also in the final running, sources who were not competing in the process have told Reuters.

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), the industry body coordinating the search for a new mechanism, said on Wednesday the results of the high-profile process are likely by the end of the week. It had been due earlier this week.

The winner will operate a new daily silver pricing benchmark to replace London's century-old silver fix when it ends on Aug. 14 as regulatory scrutiny of price-setting intensifies across markets.

The LBMA has been consulting with market participants since May with the aim of producing a transparent electronic alternative to the conference call that complies with toughened regulatory standards.

"Throughout the LBMA's process, the market has consistently indicated that Autilla's technology and the LME's compliance and price discovery systems are market-leading," LME Chief Executive Garry Jones said in a statement.

The LME and Autilla, run by former brokers and traders from some of the fixing banks, had originally presented separate proposals.   Continued...