March 28, 2012 / 6:02 PM / 7 years ago

Bank of China unit applies to London Metal Exchange

LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) - A unit of Bank of China , one of China’s big-four state-owned banks, has applied for membership of the London Metal Exchange, the LME said on Wednesday.

The application by Bank of China International (BOCI) Global Commodities will be for a category 2 LME membership, entitling it to trade in the electronic LMESelect and telephone markets, but not in the open outcry ring.

It will be the first bank from China, the world’s largest consumer of industrial raw materials, to become a member of the exchange that is the world’s biggest marketplace for metals including copper, aluminium and nickel.

BOCI, the investment banking subsidiary of Bank of China Ltd (BOC), had expected to get approval for membership of the LME by the end of the first quarter at the latest, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters in December.

BOCI membership will add to the credentials of the LME, which has opened its doors to a potential takeover. Offers from a shortlist of bidders are expected in the first week of May.

BOCI has been forging into other markets as well, and was approved as a clearing member of CME Group in March last year. (Reporting by Susan Thomas; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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