LBMA to reveal size of London's gold market on Nov. 20

BOSTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) will begin publishing data on November 20 that will provide the most accurate picture yet of the size of London’s gold trade, its chief executive said on Monday.

London is the world’s largest gold market but because most transactions are done bilaterally between banks, brokers and traders reluctant to reveal their activity, its true size remains a mystery.

The closest approximation is clearing data which suggest gold worth around $25 billion changes hands each day, but this data contains only transactions which reach settlement in London.

The new LBMA figures will show the total trading activity of LBMA members which make up the bulk of the London market and are expected to be much larger than the clearing statistics.

For the first three months after the launch, the LBMA will publish weekly reports showing total trading activity that week. After that, it will begin publishing daily reports, it said.

The initiative is part of a push to make the gold market more transparent after accusations of price manipulation by banks and traders and pressure from regulators.

Last year, the LBMA began publishing monthly data showing how much gold and silver is stored in London’s precious metals vaults.

At the end of June, they held 7,684 tonnes of gold worth $309 billion and 34,901 tonnes of silver worth $18 billion, according to the data.

The five banks that settle transactions in London have also changed the rules of their clearing house to make it easier for newcomers to join. (Reporting by Peter Hobson; Editing by Jan Harvey)