* Electronic auction to replace century-old fix
* Choice of new administrator to be announced in November (Adds details)
By Clara Denina
LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Five companies have been short-listed to replace the century-old London gold benchmark with a new electronic system, which is expected to be in place within the next few months, the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) said.
Broker Autilla Ltd (Sapient), the Chicago Mercantile Exchange jointly with Thomson Reuters, U.S. derivatives bourse Intercontinental Exchange, the London Metal Exchange and broker ICAP’s online platform EBS will present their proposals at a seminar on Oct. 24, the LBMA said in a statement on Friday.
After a consultation with market participants, the LBMA said it would welcome a display of real buying and selling volumes throughout the process and an increase in the number of direct participants, particularly refiners, brokers, mining companies and others besides banks.
Representatives from four banks have been running the gold “fix” since 1919. The twice-daily price they agree on after conferring in London by telephone is used by producers, consumers and investors to trade and value the metal.
The LBMA and the banks currently running the gold fix said their choice for a new operator would be announced in November.
Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC, Societe Generale and Barclays currently set the benchmark. Deutsche Bank withdrew in May after two decades.
Increased regulatory scrutiny after scandals over manipulation of benchmark prices in other financial markets led to a similar process of finding new administrators in the silver, platinum and palladium markets
An electronic auction mechanism run by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) jointly with Thomson Reuters was implemented for silver in August.
The London Metal Exchange, owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, will take charge of London’s platinum and palladium pricing from Dec. 1.
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. (editing by Jane Baird)