EXPERT VIEW: RIBs could be a tasty morsel for the LME

While not exactly a “State-Of-The-Union” address this week, the London Metal Exchange’s Update Forum in London – open to all – was a useful pit-stop event on what is gearing up to be a busy few months in its unfolding Strategic Pathway.

On a widespread and varied menu, LME decisionmakers outlined current thinking and plans across the board. Among these are a couple of potentially tricky initiatives. One of these is the proposed new membership class – the RIBs. To give them their proper name – Registered Intermediating Brokers – are, in effect, introducing brokers: middlemen, or agents, bringing interested parties together to transact a deal. There is a tightrope of sorts for the LME here, because since the sale to Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEX), the current membership is keen to maintain the existing value, and potential future revenue, from the ‘B’ shares they hold, even though they are largely a membership requirement, and carry no voting rights or dividend entitlement. Even so, extending and diluting membership could potentially reduce the value of those shares. At present, there are 1.365 million shares in existence, and the vast majority of members...


Martin Hayes

April 26, 2018

17:47 GMT