(Adds comment, detail)
LONDON, April 24 The launch of the London Metal
Exchange's new precious metals contracts will be delayed until
July 10, more than a month later than previously announced, it
said on Monday.
The new gold and silver contracts, a mix of daily and
monthly contracts designed to enable industrial users to hedge
specific dates, were due to go live in early June.
But the LME decided to delay the start "in the interests of
maximising market readiness and participation", it said in a
statement on Monday, adding that some prospective participants
had indicated that they would not be ready to participate fully
in the contracts until the July date.
"Part of the reason for the delay is to make absolutely sure
we have maximum participation," said James Proudlock, director
and head of market development for the LME and LME Clear. "We
want to hit the ground running."
The LME is partnering in the venture with five banks -- ICBC
Standard Bank, Morgan Stanley, Natixis
, Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale
-- plus the World Gold Council and proprietary trader OSTC.
It said last month its five bank partners, plus three others
and broker Marex Financial, had agreed to participate in the
contracts as clearing members as of the launch date.
The July date is subject to regulatory approval, it said.
CME Group and Intercontinental Exchange,
which runs the LBMA Gold Price benchmark, have also launched new
contracts in the London gold market this year.
(Reporting by Peter Hobson; Additional reporting by Jan Harvey;
Editing by Greg Mahlich)