HONG KONG, March 14 (Reuters) - Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd said on Friday it had been named a co-defendant in class action lawsuits involving the price fixing of aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME).
HKEx, the world's fourth largest exchange operator, said it was notified on Thursday that it had been named in the consolidated complaint by direct purchasers of primary aluminium.
A total of 26 class action lawsuits has been filed against the LME, which have been consolidated into three complaints to account for three different classes of plaintiffs, it added.
"HKEx management's initial assessment is that the lawsuit is without merit and HKEx will contest it vigorously," the company said in a securities filing.
Lawsuits filed by manufacturers in the United States last year say that, enabled by LME rules, banks and traders hoarded metal in warehouses they owned, raising prices. The firms and the LME have said the claims are baseless.