The race to replace the London silver price fix seems to be finally over as members of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) are said to have chosen the joint Chicago Mercantile Exchange/Thomson Reuters bid to replace the current price process, which formally ends on August 14.
According to FastMarkets.com, the LBMA made its decision Friday in a closed meeting at the Royal Exchange, and it is expected to make an official announcement later today or Tuesday.
However, the leading bid faced a last-minute challenge from the London Metal Exchange that has joined forces with Autilla, a technology provider, to table a revised bid. The move ended up delaying the announcement of a new method for providing a daily reference price for silver.
The LBMA had been working to find a new silver fixing process since May 14, when the London Silver Market Fixing Limited surprised the market and announced that it would stop administering the 117-year old London silver fixing by mid-August.
A new system is supposed to go from being an obscure process conducted via conference call between a handful of banks to a “robust transaction-based electronic system” to set the daily spot price.
Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest financial institution by assets, quit its seat on both the London Gold Fixing and Silver Fixing panels in early May amid investigations of manipulation and price misshandling.
The lawsuits piling up and the ongoing probe by the UK financial regulator – and the first of what could be a slew of fines – meant that the German banking giant could not find any buyers for the seats.
There has been no shortage of parties interested in taking over the silver spot pricing mechanism, with names including market information provider Platts, and the joint bid news and financial data provider Reuters and the CME, among the most broadcasted.
Talks on how to overhaul the London Gold fix, which has been used as a benchmark for the global physical trade in the precious metal for the past 95 years is still under discussion.