SocGen resigns LME Category II and LMEprecious memberships

The London Metal Exchange has approved the resignation of French bank Société Générale from its Category II and LMEprecious membership structure, outlining in a note to members on Tuesday November 3 that the entity will no longer trade as a general clearing member of LMEClear with immediate effect.

Société Générale, also known as SocGen, began a refinement of its commodity trading activities more than two years ago, which culminated in the closure of its proprietary and over-the-counter (OTC) commodities business in April 2019, cutting 1,600 jobs in the process.

The bank will continue to trade as a Category I, or floor-trading entity, through its affiliate Societe Generale International Limited (SNC), the LME confirmed in the notice.

According to the LME’s ‘B-share’ structure, which requires a minimum of 25,000 shares for Category I and II members, shares in LME Holdings Ltd are freely transferable but remain subject to approval from LME board members.

The latest LME data shows that SocGen held 30,000 B-shares at the time of resignation, while affiliate SNC is among the largest LME shareholders with 37,000 B-shares. LME B-shares are currently priced at around $119 per share, which puts the bank’s LME value at just under $8 million at present.

In September, SocGen cast further doubt on its position as a market maker by resigning as a key market participant in the LME’s gold and silver futures contracts, a process that initially saw it an exclusive trading partner.

This leaves just two banks, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, committed to offering tradeable prices, with SocGen continuing to consolidate business and focusing on procuring project financing opportunities elsewhere, particularly in the renewable energy sector.

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