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ICE delays Singapore platform launch to later this year

[MANILA] Intercontinental Exchange will launch its Singapore platform later in the year, the bourse said on Monday, following delays after China opposed the inclusion of cotton and sugar futures that would use Chinese prices as references.

ICE earlier targeted to kick off the platform in March, but pushed it back to mid-2015 after China's Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange complained against the use of its settlement prices as references for the cotton and white sugar futures contracts that ICE was looking to launch.

ICE is now planning to launch ICE Futures Singapore and ICE Clear Singapore later this year, it said. The exchange has said among the contracts would be one-kilogramme gold, "mini-Brent"crude oil and renminbi futures. "The establishment of ICE Futures Singapore and ICE Clear Singapore will support an expanded customer base and the further development of the derivatives markets in Asia with a local exchange and clearing presence," ICE said in a statement.

ICE's gold contract faces tough competition with Asia already seeing several contracts including those in Shanghai as bourses vie to provide a price benchmark in the world's top gold-consuming region.

The exchange said it has appointed Brink's as vault operator and Metalor will provide assayer services for the physically deliverable gold contract.

ICE's mini-Brent contract will be for 100 barrels each, a tenth of the size of its Brent crude oil benchmark.

Atlanta-based ICE bought the Singapore Mercantile Exchange in 2014 for US$150 million to gain a foothold in trading and clearing in Asia, adding to its network of markets and clearing houses in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Britain and continental Europe.