UPDATE 1-Broker ICAP enters race to replace century-old gold fix

Wed Oct 1, 2014 10:28am EDT
 
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* LBMA and gold fix administrators requested proposals last month

* At least 15 companies interested in replacing fix -sources (Adds detail, background)

By Clara Denina

LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - ICAP, the world's biggest interdealer broker, will submit a proposal to the bullion market to replace the century-old global price benchmark for gold known as the "fix", the company told Reuters on Wednesday.

Representatives from a handful of banks have been running the current version of the gold fix, set twice a day by telephone, since 1919. Producers, consumers and investors use the benchmark to trade the metal and value their holdings.

Regulators have focused on precious metal benchmarks since the Libor interest rate-rigging scandal broke in 2012, leading the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and the four banks currently administering the gold fix to launch a request-for-proposals (RFP) process last month.

Sources told Reuters that at least 15 companies had expressed interest in replacing the London gold benchmark.

The new benchmark will need to comply with the 19 principles on financial benchmarks outlined in July 2013 by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), an umbrella group of market regulators.

ICAP voluntarily adopted the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks in July, said Kevin Taylor, managing director of ICAP Information Services, adding that it would continue building its business on those principles.   Continued...