* Participation will begin on Oct. 30, ICE says
* CCB the second Chinese bank to join the LBMA Gold Price
LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) - China Construction Bank (CCB) will join the twice-daily electronic auction process to set the benchmark price of gold, its operator Intercontinental Exchange said in a statement on Thursday.
CCB on Wednesday confirmed it would be the second Chinese company to gain access to the 138-year old London Metal Exchange’s trading floor with the acquisition of a majority stake in UK metals trading firm Metdist Trading Limited.
The gold auction, which takes place each day at 1030 and 1500 London time, sets the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Gold Price, a benchmark used by producers, traders and end-users globally in contracts and transactions.
CCB will join the process from October 30, ICE said.
“The LBMA Gold Price has seen increased underlying liquidity this year which is helping attract further new participation and interest from precious metal industry participants across the globe,” ICE Benchmark Administration president Finbarr Hutcheson said in the statement.
CCB was also confirmed last week by CME Group as a participant in the LBMA Silver Price auction, operated by CME and Thomson Reuters.
CCB is the second Chinese bank to take part in the gold pricing process after Bank of China was confirmed as a participant in June, alongside 10 others including HSBC, Societe Generale and UBS.
“This shows that China is playing a leading role in all metals, whether it’s the industrial suite or the precious. It’s only right that more participants should play a part in price formation,” Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.
“It’s noticeable that participation from that part of the world is not commensurate with their trading activity and interests, so this makes sense.”
ICE Benchmark Administration was named last year as the operator of the new LBMA Gold Price, which replaced the century-old London gold fix on March 20.
The precious metals fixes were replaced by the new electronic auctions, as gold fell under an intense regulatory spotlight after the Libor interest rate-rigging scandal broke in 2012. (Reporting by Jan Harvey; Editing by Veronica Brown and William Hardy)