Market Making Membership
Market Makers have the same rights as Full members but also have the additional responsibility to quote bid and offer prices, to each other during the London business day, for agreed minimum quantities and tenors in both gold and silver.
Products in which prices are quoted
The three products relevant to LBMA market making are Spot (S), Forwards (F) and Options (O). There are eleven LBMA Market Makers who provide the service in one, two or all three products. They are required to make markets by quoting two way prices in both gold and silver to the other Market Makers in the same products. Market Makers offering spot, forwards and options are known as Full Market Makers and those providing only one or two of the products are known simply as Market Makers.
Who are the LBMA Market Makers?
Of the twelve LBMA Market Makers, seven are Full Market Makers and five are Market Makers. The seven Full Market Makers quoting prices in all three products are:
- Citibank N A
- Credit Suisse AG Zurich
- Goldman Sachs International
- JP Morgan Chase Bank
- UBS AG
- Morgan Stanley & Co International Plc
The five LBMA Market Makers who provide two-way pricing in either one or two products are:
- BNP Paribas SA (F)
- ICBC Standard Bank (S)
- Merrill Lynch International (S,O)
- Standard Chartered Bank (S,O)
- Toronto-Dominion Bank (F)
The benefits of Market Maker Membership apply to all Market Makers, subject to the conditions of the Articles of Association.
Requirements of Market Makers
Market Makers are required to respond quickly to requests for prices from other Market Makers, providing two-way price quotations in line with current market conditions, and to offer the service during normal London bullion trading hours. These are 8:00 am until 5:00 pm or, on days when the New York market is closed, until the London PM gold fixing. There is an understanding between the Market Makers that the maximum quantities for which prices can be requested are as follows:
- Spot: 5,000 oz
- Forwards: 100,000oz to 3 months 50,000oz from 3 months to 1 year
- Options: 50,000oz during the period 1 week to 1 year
- Spot: 100,000 oz
- Forwards: 1M oz up to 3 months 500,000oz from 3 months to 1 year
- Options: 1M oz during the period of 1 week to 1 year
* Figures are an interim measure
Definitions of Spot, Forward and Options
The current price in the physical market for immediate delivery of gold. This is normally taken to mean loco London delivery two working days after the date of the deal.
A transaction in which two parties agree to the purchase and sale of gold at a future date, commonly 1, 3, 6 and 12 months but also for longer dated tenors or dates into the future (see table above). Forward contracts are an important part of many swap arrangements.
This gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell gold at a pre-determined price by an agreed date, for which he pays a premium (or a cost). The premium is the amount of compensation the seller receives from the buyer. The right to buy is commonly referred to as a call option and the right to sell as a put option.
Full membership of LBMA is available to companies in the UK and abroad. All Members must be operational in areas that are closely related to the London bullion market.