LME confirms Sigma as first new ring-dealer in 15 years

LME confirms Sigma as first new ring-dealer in 15 years

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The London Metal Exchange has secured its first new category one member in 15 years as the British exchange approved Sigma Broking as its ninth ring-dealing firm.

The LME, which said last week its chief executive is leaving to join a crypto firm, said on Wednesday it has approved Sigma Broking as a category one member.

The exchange said in a note to clients: “Notice is hearby given that the following application for membership has been approved by the LME: Category One: Sigma Broking Limited.”

The approval draws a line under a process that started in 2020 and effectively gives a green light to Sigma to forge ahead with the last stage of its plan to establish a strong ring and electronic dealing presence at the LME.

Sigma has been building in recent months a metals broking team and expects to have 15 brokers on board when it finally takes its place in the historic ring, which could be as soon as February, according to sources.

Sigma is set to occupy the LME broking booth vacated by Triland Metals in August when the Mitsubishi-owned broker gave up its ring-dealing membership to become a category two, electronic dealer.

The departure of Triland, a category one for more than 50 years, took the number of ring dealers to just eight, underlining a trend that has seen dealers giving up in recent decades a physical presence on the floor in favour of electronic access to LME prices.

GF Futures (UK) became a ring-dealer following its acquisition of Natixis Commodity Markets in 2013. The last firm to become a category one dealer by securing approval rather than acquiring an existing ring member was ED&F Man Capital Markets in 2007.

The LME is not the only new venture from Sigma however. The broker, owned by former Liffe trader Matthew Kent and chief executive David Mudie, launched last year a foreign exchange broker and a wealth management business, as first reported by Global Investor in October. 

The LME ring has been in focus over the past six months as it only reopened on September 6 after being silent for more than 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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