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World Gold Council Says 'Gold Fix' Reform Won't Happen Quickly

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The World Gold Council said it doesn't expect that an industry-wide meeting to reform the so-called gold fix will provide an immediate solution to trading in the precious metal. Gold industry officials called the upcoming meeting the start of a multi-step process.

Buyers and sellers of gold ranging from central banks to bullion banks are scheduled to meet on July 7 to discuss possible reforms to the London Gold Fix. New global regulations for trading in the metal are set to begin in the coming months.

Fixings fail on most of the new rules, World Gold Council managing director of investment strategy Marcus Grubb told reporters Wednesday in New York. Grubb said it's imperative to find a solution but that the meetings which begin on July 7 will be the first step in a longer process to create a more transparent gold fix.

The gold fix has existed since 1919 and is an industry standard in which five banks set the price of gold on a conference call twice a day for use by large-scale purchasers. Grubb said it's necessary to keep the fix for central banks which may make large gold purchases at any given time.

Gold prices have gained more than 9% in 2014 after plunging 30% in 2013.

The gold fix in its current form -- the London Gold Fix -- emerged at the end of World War I, when the Bank of England agreed with South African mining finance firms to ship gold to London for refining and sale, according to the Web site run by The London Gold Market Fixing Limited. Today, four fixing members -- Barclays, HSBC, Scotiabank and Societe Generale - gather each morning in London to determine prices.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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