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LME Takeover by Hong Kong May Not Be Best Decision, Chalmin Says

The London Metal Exchange’s proposed takeover by the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. may not be the best move for “the sake of the markets,” said Philippe Chalmin, an economics professor at the University of Paris-Dauphine and adviser to the French government. He made the following comments in a phone call from Paris on June 16.

“For the sake of the markets, I don’t think it’s a good decision. The Hong Kong Exchanges has no experience in the commodities markets. It makes sense for the Chinese to get control of the markets. It makes sense for the LME because they would have a basis to expand their warehouse network. But the LME could easily have done a joint venture with the Shanghai Exchange instead. The China market right now is limited to Chinese participants. It’s relatively protected. To put the LME under the Hong Kong Exchanges control when it has no experience in the commodities market I don’t think it’s a good idea. The LME has a very important role to price six base metals.”

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