Standard Bank is Frontrunner to Buy Deutsche Bank's Gold Fix Seat - Source
London -based Standard Bank PLC, which is part-owned by a state-run Chinese lender, is the front-runner in the bid to buy Deutsche Bank's seat on the panel that fixes the daily gold price, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday.
Deutsche Bank in January said it was pulling out of the process for setting gold and silver benchmarks as part of a wider move to scale back its involvement in commodities.
Gold is traded over-the-counter 24 hours a day and there is no central source for data on prices. As such, each morning and afternoon in London a group of five market participants meets to determine a snapshot of the price, commonly known as the London "fix." These are units of Barclays PLC , Deutsche Bank AG , HSBC Holdings PLC , Bank of Nova Scotia and Societe Generale SA .
Regulators have been investigating potential price-rigging in several markets, including possible manipulation of benchmarks for interest rates and foreign exchange. Several banks have suspended traders in connection with a probe into possible currency-market rigging. Regulators in the U.K. and Germany are reviewing the process for setting gold benchmarks.
Standard Bank PLC is the former global markets business of South Africa's Standard Bank Group Ltd. The South African bank said in January it would sell a controlling stake in the U.K. business to state-run Industrial & Commercial Bank of China for an estimated $765 million . ICBC will initially own a 60% stake in Standard Bank PLC with an option to buy a further 20% over the next five years.