The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) administers the world’s largest physical gold market, and is heavily involved in certifying or authenticating the gold that trades in the City of London. Each day, a staggering $18 billion worth of gold traded in London during March (when the most recent data is available).
However, like many other institutions that hold large amounts of gold in its custody, the Association has faced problems with transparency and disclosure of its operations. We all realize that something as valuable as gold is a sensitive topic, but investors have put pressure on these institutions to be more forthcoming about their gold stockpiles. This is particularly true now that gold-backed exchange-traded funds like the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) publish regular audits of their gold holdings.
On Monday, the LBMA announced it will publish the precious metal holdings from its London vaults for the Summer 2017 period. It will start with gold and silver and later on will do the same for platinum and palladium.
Beyond aggregate physical holdings in the vaults (mainly owned by the Bank of England, the central bank of the U.K.), the “next step,” says the LBMA, will be publishing actual trade data from the London gold market. In the future, this could tell us the gross turnover that London gold sees every trading day.
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