RPT-NYMEX plans to consolidate trading floors

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LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) - Metals and energy exchange operator NYMEX Holdings Inc. NMX.N said on Friday it plans to consolidate its trading floors to save money as an increasing amount of dealing becomes electronically handled.

“We’re quickly getting to the point where we can combine these operations into a more efficient floor space,” Chief Executive Jim Newsome said during a gathering of exchange executives in London.

“There will be substantial cost savings from consolidation,” he added, without providing specific estimates, “but even more savings as we move forward.”

Newsome would not lay out a timetable for completely scrapping the floor-based operation at NYMEX, which owns the world’s largest physical commodities exchange. NYMEX has separate floors for metals and energy.

He said options trading, which still accounts for 20 percent of NYMEX volume, still largely relies on a physical floor.

“We can’t just walk away from that volume at this point,” he said at the Exchange Forum hosted by Mondo Visione.