UPDATE 2-CME, Thomson Reuters win battle to replace century-old silver benchmark

Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:05am EDT
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* LBMA settles on silver fix replacement after 2-month hunt

* New mechanism heralds change in precious metals benchmarks

By Clara Denina and Jan Harvey

LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) - CME Group and Thomson Reuters will operate an electronic silver benchmark when the 117-year-old "fix" is disbanded in August, in a move widely seen preceding sweeping reforms of precious metals price-setting.

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) said in a statement on Friday that CME Group will provide a price platform and methodology for the daily process, while Thomson Reuters is responsible for administration and governance.

CME/Thomson Reuters will start testing the new process in early August after the closely contested competition to produce a solution.

The silver fix - used by producers, consumers and investors - is set every day at noon by three banks via a conference call, working out a price at which their customers are willing to buy and sell the metal.

But with increased attention from regulators in the wake of benchmark manipulation in other markets, the current operator - London Silver Market Fixing Ltd - said in May it would stop running the daily call.   Continued...