New firm NFEx aims to challenge LME’s base metals trading

June 6, 2017
Reporting by Pratima Desai, Peter Hobson, Eric Onstad and Michael Hogan

LONDON (Reuters) – A new company, NFEx Markets, is seeking to challenge the London Metal Exchange’s (LME) dominance in industrial metals with plans to launch a trading platform in the first quarter of next year.

NFEx will mimic the forward contracts of the LME, which has seen its market share eroded in recent years, in an attempt to attract physical trade, the new company said on Monday.

The LME acknowledged it faced new competition by smaller, nimble entrants, but said they would also face regulatory challenges.

NFEx, incorporated in March this year and with registered offices in London’s financial district, said it would operate a digital platform built by Autilla, a financial technology firm operating in commodities.

Mike Greenacre, Autilla’s chief executive, said NFEx would copy the LME’s offering and that Martin Abbott, a former chief executive at the LME, was a senior advisor.

“Contracts and trade dates will match established physical industry practice,” the company said in a release. “This new trading platform will not replace or disturb current trading models but will be complementary to them.”..

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