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Chinese banks in talks to take part in gold fixing replacement

[LONDON] Chinese banks are among those in talks to take part in the replacement for the century-old gold fixing benchmark.

There's a "more diverse pool" of participants, including from China, interested in being part of the LBMA Gold Price, Ruth Crowell, chief executive of the London Bullion Market Association, said in a statement on Monday.

The LBMA declined to comment on the number and names of those in talks for the new mechanism that will start in March.

ICE Benchmark Administration was chosen in November to run the replacement for the 95-year old price-setting ritual that takes place twice daily by phone between four banks.

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Silver became the first precious metal to ditch the daily fix in August and a new procedure for platinum and palladium began on Dec 1.

"We are encouraged by the number of firms who have shown interest in being participants in the new, electronic auction," Finbarr Hutcheson, president of IBA, said in the statement.

"Expanding the number of participants in the auction will increase the transparency and robustness of the data" and better represent the market price, he said.

Societe Generale SA, Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings Plc and Barclays Plc currently conduct the fixings used by miners to central banks to trade and value metal.

The new benchmark will be regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority from April 1 and will be brought in line with International Organization of Securities Commissions principles, according to the statement.

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