Baltic Exchange Isn’t in ‘Active’ Talks on Selling Baltex System

The Baltic Exchange, the London-based shipping bourse, said it’s not holding “active” talks to sell Baltex, a screen-based system for trading freight derivatives.

“The Baltic has business relationships with a number of exchanges and clearing houses and therefore is often in dialogue with them,” Jeremy Penn, the exchange’s chief executive officer, said in an e-mailed statement today. “Such dialogue of course includes matters related to Baltex. This does not mean that there are active negotiations under way.”

Reuters reported earlier that the exchange received expressions of interest in Baltex from parties including the London Metal Exchange and CME Group Inc. The LME is owned by Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., and Chicago-based CME Group owns the world’s largest derivatives market.

Baltex, which handles derivatives tied to the cost of transporting cargoes including coal, iron ore and grains, lost 682,093 pounds ($1 million) in the year through March, compared with 704,166 pounds in the previous period, according to the exchange’s annual report. The bourse doesn’t disclose the amount of contracts traded using the system, external spokesman Ben Stack said by phone.

The exchange, which traces its history back to 1744, said in May 2010 it planned to introduce Baltex by the end of that year. The first trade on the system was executed in June 2011.

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