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Hong Kong Exchanges Called Best Buyer of LME by Aurubis’s Boel

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. is the “best possible” buyer of the London Metal Exchange, according to Stefan Boel, a member of copper producer Aurubis AG’s board.

LME shareholders yesterday approved a $2.2 billion takeover bid from the Asian bourse. Aurubis said in March it had no interest in selling its 24,000 LME shares. Boel, who declined to disclose how Hamburg-based Aurubis voted, spoke in a phone interview yesterday.

“We were against the sale of the LME, but not particularly against Hong Kong Exchanges. Hong Kong had the best cards in their hands, and they were the best possible acquirer from the industry point of view if the LME were to be sold.

“Hong Kong Exchanges was interested in the LME as it is. It didn’t want to change the LME.

“Hong Kong Exchanges gave assurances that the new LME will continue like the old LME did on many points until January 2015. They’ve taken a note of our criticism and our worries.

“We look forward to good discussions with them. It’s important for them to know companies like us and how we operate and make use of the LME.

“We are a shareholder, but our shareholding is less important than our use of the LME. That’s why we have been so much emphasizing the need for the LME to maintain the elements of the current business model.”

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