Silver market reboots century-old price benchmark

Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:01pm EDT
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* First of series of precious metals benchmark overhauls

* Not all interested participants ready by Friday -LBMA

* Will take form of online 'equilibrium auction'

By Clara Denina and Jan Harvey

LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - The silver market enters a new electronic era in benchmarking on Friday after a regulatory drive for more transparency in price setting brought the 117-year-old silver 'fix' to an end.

The final conference call took place on Thursday between banker-dealers in the London silver market in the old process of fixing the benchmark silver price.

Driving the change has been the increased scrutiny of precious metals 'fixes' by European and U.S. watchdogs in the wake of benchmark manipulation in other financial markets.

The new price mechanism is not only electronic, auction-based and auditable; it is also tradable with an increased number of direct participants.

The process will be operated jointly by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which provides the platform and algorithm, and administrator Thomson Reuters.   Continued...