Ex-LME Boss Contemplates Rival Metals Exchange

Martin Abbott, the former chief executive of the London Metal Exchange, is considering setting up a competing trading platform.

Martin Abbott, the former chief executive of the London Metal Exchange (LME), which was bought by rival Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing four years ago, is said to be considering setting up a rival trading platform.

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Abbott, who left the LME in 2013, a year after the world’s largest metals bourse was taken over, is reported to be holding talks with brokers and trading firms about establishing a rival exchange based in London.

He allegedly said: “There are a number of different options which are mentioned, some people talk about an OTC (over the counter) platform, others talk about a full-blown exchange and it’s really very early days.”

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A study group is being established to examine the idea in further depth and discussions with brokers are reported to have been taking place for several months.

Abbot is a veteran of the metals industry, having taken the helm at the London exchange for seven years before moving on. He was also responsible for the LME’s £1.4 billion ($2 billion) sale to its Hong Kong-rival, a deal in which the London exchange has seen trading volumes decline, amid mounting competition from rival CME.

LME: Increased Trading Fees

With the LME having also increased its trading fees, this has encouraged its customers to look elsewhere at rival platforms.

Mr Abbott reportedly said: “There is a sense maybe the traditional trade business takes the back seat in the way the exchanges are planning their futures.”


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