May 21, 2020 / 8:01 AM / 16 days ago

LME open-outcry ring cannot reopen under social distancing -CEO

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) - The open-outcry floor at the London Metal Exchange (LME) may remain closed for several more months because reopening is impossible under COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, the head of the exchange said.

LME Chief Executive Matthew Chamberlain also told Reuters the exchange was interested in potential merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, but nothing was on the agenda now due to difficult valuations.

“You cannot really have social distancing. We and our ring-dealing members just don’t see how that would work,” he said in an interview.

“It is certainly a possibility that if social distancing is required for many more months, then the ring is closed for many more months,” he added. (Reporting by Eric Onstad and Pratima Desai; Editing by Veronica Brown and Edmund Blair)

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