The announcement follows an extended process of engagement with major market participants and users, and the LMEprecious service has been designed based on extensive consultation with core market players. Advanced discussions are taking place with a number of other leading institutions that have indicated their strong support for this initiative.
The initiative intends to address the need for greater market transparency, to help with ongoing regulatory change, provide additional robustness to the precious metals market, broaden market access, make trading more capital efficient and trade lifecycle management easier. LMEprecious will be developed to accommodate the interests of the full range of market stakeholders and to reinforce the strengths of the London market.
LMEprecious will comprise spot, daily and monthly futures, options and calendar spread contracts for gold and silver. Future developments will include platinum and palladium contracts. All trading will be centrally cleared on LME Clear, the LME's clearing house, and leverage the London market's existing delivery infrastructure. The new product suite is intended to complement the bilateral over-the-counter (OTC) market, offering market participants similar levels of execution flexibility, including the ability to bring bilaterally negotiated (phone-based) trades into clearing.
The banks participating in this initiative will act as liquidity providers for the precious contracts to ensure efficient price discovery and establish market depth. Additional market participants are openly invited to participate in supporting and sharing in the success of the new contracts. LMEprecious will launch in the first half of 2017, following a comprehensive process of integration and testing with participants and subject to regulatory approvals.