January 8, 2014 / 10:28 AM / in 4 years

London Metal Exchange approves Chinese broker for floor trade

LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange (LME) has approved a unit of one of China’s top securities brokers to trade on its open outcry floor, the exchange said on Wednesday.

GF Financial, a unit of China’s GF Securities, will be the exchange’s first Chinese-owned company to become a Category 1 member more than a year after the LME was bought by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing for $2.2 billion.

The LME, the world’s largest and oldest metals marketplace, also approved Lee Kee Group, a Hong Kong-based integrated metals firm, and commodity trade house Vitol as Category 5 associate trade members.

On its website, Lee Kee describes itself as an internationally integrated supply chain company, involved in metal smelting, global sourcing, transportation of goods and warehouse management.

Energy trading houses such as Vitol are diversifying into metals and food commodities to reduce reliance on oil and broaden growth opportunities.

Category 1, or ring dealing members, are entitled to trade in the LME’s trading pit, one of the world’s last open outcry floors, bringing the total number of floor members to 11.

Category 5, or associate trade members, have no trading right except as clients.

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