Intercontinental Exchange could push back London clearing launch as it seeks to assert gold dominance

William Turvill
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London's bullion market is worth $5 trillion (£4.1 trillion) a year (Source: Getty)

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) could push back the launch of clearing for London’s gold price auction as it seeks to get all participants on board.

The New York Stock Exchange owner was set to go live with its clearing plans at the end of this month. But City A.M. understands the launch could now be put on hold until the start of April.

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Reuters first reported that ICE, which is keen to establish itself as the dominant exchange in London’s $5 trillion-a-year (£4.1 trillion-a-year) gold market, could delay until 3 April. It is facing challenges from the London Metal Exchange and CME Group.

ICE has reportedly already pushed back the service by several weeks to allow auction participants, banks and brokers, to adapt to their systems.

Sources said 12 of 14 bankers and brokers involved in the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Gold Price auction are positioned to be ready for the new system. The launch may be delayed to ensure all 14 are ready.

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Clearing, the process through which transactions are settled, between the pledge of a payment and the payment itself, is seen as a necessity for the gold trade.

In January, ICE began trading a new gold daily futures contract. Sources said the clearing launch was aimed at enabling greater participation in the gold auction, with several new firms working on joining once the service is live.

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