On March 24, 2015, Euronews broadcasted Business Middle East, in which Nour Al Hammoury from ADS securities, stated that if Chinese banks would join the new gold fix it would be less sensitive for manipulation. Having Chinese banks participate in the fix, would indeed be very welcome.
If you like to read more about if Chinese banks will participate in the new fix read Chinese Banks as direct participants in the new LBMA Gold and Silver Price auctions? Not so fast!
Global gold price setting arrives in the 21st century
…Better late than never, the gold market has entered the digital era, joining other precious metals in the 21st century. Criticism of an archaic global price fixing system intensified with some claiming it lacked credibility. Following numerous fines on international banks due to scandals of price manipulation, gold traders may now have more peace of mind with a new electronic system to manage price setting.
…Since 1919, the gold price setting process was limited to four international banks “Barclays, HSBC, Société Générale and Scotiabank”. In the original process, inter-bank representatives would set up a secure conference call each day in order to determine the price. UBS Swiss and Goldman Sachs have now joined this list of bank representatives. The new digital system follows the same process:
Each round is 45 seconds long. Bids and offers are displayed and updated in real-time. The difference is automatically calculated and if it stays within 20,000 troy ounces, the price is fixed. In this new system, orders are separated between clients and the banks’ trading desks.
“Is the new electronic system able to make the daily price benchmark less vulnerable to manipulation?”
Nour Al Hammoury
“We hope. Major global banks have faced many scandals related to commodities and not only gold. The banks who were predicting the price of gold to reach above 2,000 USD/oz are the same banks who are predicting now that the price will fall below 1,000 USD/oz. Despite that, the major banks remain the biggest gold buyers, according to the latest report from the world gold council. In the meantime, the new pricing might give the market some confidence, especially if its transparent and this is what we will be watching out for the coming period.”
“According to projections, China could play a key role in the new pricing system. How so?”
Nour Al Hammoury
“From the start of the financial crisis until today, China has been buying a huge amount of gold, making it one of the biggest consumer and buyers of gold in the past few months. Indeed, if China joins the new pricing plan, there’ll be less manipulation; the more they increase the participants the less chance of manipulation as we’ve seen before, when price setting was done by a few banks.”