LONDON, July 10 Societe Generale is
merging its open outcry trading team on the London Metal
Exchange (LME) with its unit Newedge, cutting the number of LME
"ring-dealing" members to 10.
The LME, the world's oldest and biggest market for
industrial metals, is the only exchange in Europe to still use
In its open-outcry trading ring - a circle of padded
red-leather seats - traders use arcane hand signals during
five-minute bursts of intense trading in copper, aluminium,
lead, nickel and zinc.
SocGen finalised its purchase of the remaining 50 percent of
Newedge from Credit Agricole in May. The move, agreed
last November, was part of an asset swap between the two French
banks to help narrow their business focus.
"Following the acquisition of Newedge by Societe Generale,
we have made the logical decision to merge the Newedge and
Societe Generale LME floor teams," SocGen and Newedge said in a
From July 15, the new team will trade in the LME ring under
Newedge, and SocGen will downgrade its LME membership to
category 2, which allows electronic and telephone trading.
"We are pleased that Societe Generale Group remain fully
committed to their metals and commodities franchise," the LME
said in a statement.
Last month, the LME said it would keep its open-outcry
trading ring, bucking a trend by most other markets to shift to
The LME launched a review of whether to keep the ring
following its takeover by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd
in December 2012.
The number of firms that trade in the ring has steadily
declined from about 30 during a peak in the late 1980s, but the
exchange said last month it hopes more will join.
(Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Pravin Char)