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LME to take over London platinum, palladium price benchmarks

[London] The London Metal Exchange, owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd , will take over administration of platinum and palladium fixes, the company in charge of the twice-daily global benchmarks said on Thursday.

The London platinum and palladium fixing company (LPPFC) is finalising arrangements for the transfer of the price administration to the LME from Dec 1, according to a statement.

The new electronic pricing process will be run via bespoke platform LMEbullion, it said.

The LPPFC said in July that it would seek a third-party administrator for its price benchmarks, following similar announcements from the operators of the gold and silver fixings.

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It later appointed an independent chairman, former Barclays product manager Jon Spall of G Cubed Metals Ltd, to oversee the current twice-daily fixing process operated by HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Standard Bank and BASF Metals Ltd.

CME Group and Thomson Reuters were named in July as the administrator of the new silver benchmark, the LBMA Silver Price.

A process to find a new administrator of the gold fixing was launched last month by the London gold fixing company, with the support of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).

Sources told Reuters that at least 15 companies had expressed interest in replacing the London gold benchmark. Potential administrators include ICAP, the world's biggest interdealer broker, and CME Group and Thomson Reuters.

Scrutiny over the way precious metals benchmarks are set increased ahead of the implementation of stricter regulations on price setting from the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) this year.

European, US and Asian regulators also stepped up scrutiny of financial benchmarking processes following the Libor manipulation case which hit the foreign exchange market in 2012. REUTERS