UPDATE 2-New era of gold benchmarking to start with six pioneers

Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:28am EDT
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* ICE Benchmark Administrator to replace gold fix on March 20

* Four chairs to rotate during first 6 months - source (Adds first and last fix, comment)

By Clara Denina

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - Six institutions will start setting gold prices electronically on Friday, as Intercontinental Exchange completes a sweeping change to London's bullion benchmarks and dispenses with the century-old gold "fix".

Since 1919, representatives from four or five banks have agreed a twice-daily price on which their customers - producers, consumers and investors - could trade and value gold.

The first fix that took place, on Sept. 12 that year, set the price of gold at 4 pounds, 18 shillings and ninepence an ounce. The last fix, on Thursday, set the price at $1,166.00.

Sweeping reform triggered by a regulatory push for more transparency after the Libor interest rate-rigging scandal broke in 2012 saw banks stop acting as both data providers and market makers.

As financial institutions considered pulling out of the fixing process, three different exchanges took on the challenge of setting the separate precious metals benchmarks.

ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA), a subsidiary of ICE , was chosen to provide a physically settled, electronic and tradeable auction for what will become the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association) Gold Price.   Continued...