LME allows first Chinese firm to deal in the ring

Suzie Neuwirth
THE LONDON Metal Exchange yesterday said it has approved its first Chinese-owned ring dealing member company, alongside two new trade members.

GF Financial Markets will be able to trade on LME’s three platforms, including the famous ring, one of the world’s last open outcry markets.

Ring dealing members can also issue LME contracts – buying and selling material for their clients – and are members of the clearing house.

The exchange, on which more than 80 per cent of the world’s non-ferrous metals are traded, will issue a further notice to confirm the date that GF Financial Markets can start trading and clearing.

Hong Kong-based supply chain firm Lee Kee Group and Swiss commodity trader Vitol have both been approved as associate trade members – meaning they have no trading rights except as clients – with immediate effect.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing acquired LME in 2012, which some expect will give the London exchange a more Asian focus going forward.

“We welcome GF Financial Markets to the ring and look forward to expanding our client base further, particularly in the Asia region,” said Garry Jones, who was hired as chief executive of the LME last August.

The LME is going through a challenging time as it navigates a probe by the US commodities watchdog into the metals warehousing industry.

In November it outlined a package of warehouse reforms, which aim to cut queues and tackle market abuse.