LME Chair to step down, exchange declines comment on reason

Credit: REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

By Pratima Desai

LONDON, Jan 5 (Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange (LME) said on Thursday that Gay Huey Evans will step down as LME Chair, but declined to comment on whether it was due to regulatory reviews into the nickel market events in March.

In April, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority launched a sweeping probe into how the LME suspended chaotic nickel trading on March 8 after prices doubled to a record above $100,000 a tonne in a few hours.

Regulators said the episode underlined questions about the transparency of the 145-year-old LME and they would determine if further action should be taken.

Several investigations are being held. The FCA is looking into how the exchange handled the situation, the LME will commission its own independent probe, while the BoE is looking into the LME's clearing house.

The LME declined to comment when asked by Reuters if Evans was stepping down because of the regulatory reviews.

The BoE and the FCA did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether Evans was stepping down because of their reviews. Both regulators declined to provide an update on their reviews in November.

Fraenkel was most recently President of S&P Global Platts and Vareille was formerly chief executive of Constellium CSTM.N, a manufacturer of aluminium products. Both will join the board in the first quarter.

The board has started the search for a new Chair, the LME said.

The LME is grappling with declining volumes, particularly in nickel, after the trading fiasco in March.

Worries about supplies from major producer Russia after it

The exchange annulled all nickel trades agreed on March 8, for which it is facing legal action, and suspended the market for the first time since 1988.

The LME is owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) 0388.HK.

(Reporting by Pratima Desai; editing by David Evans)

((pratima.desai@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 513 5681;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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