Citigate to restore shine to LME’s tarnished image

The London Metal Exchange has drafted in Citigate Corporate to give crisis management and corporate communications advice to combat allegations over its role in the Sumitomo copper scandal.

The London Metal Exchange has drafted in Citigate Corporate to give

crisis management and corporate communications advice to combat

allegations over its role in the Sumitomo copper scandal.



Citigate was hired last week - just days before a BBC Panorama programme

about the scandal was broadcast. Panorama accused LME of misleading the

copper markets by not revealing what it knew about the trading

activities of Yasuo Hamanaka. His dealings left the Sumitomo Corporation

with losses of pounds 1.6 billion and prompted the collapse of copper

prices last May.



Although neither the LME nor Citigate were prepared to comment on the PR

campaign, sources suggest that the agency’s main task is to neutralise

negative fall out from the Panorama programme and to built LME’s

reputation as a well-managed international market. The exchange is also

anxious to rebuff the rival claims of other copper markets, particularly

Nymex, the New York Mercantile Exchange.



Target audiences are likely to include metal traders across the globe,

industrial corporations which buy large amounts of copper, brokers and

City institutions. Work is being led by Citigate Corporate’s managing

director Simon Brocklebank-Fowler.



Yasuo Hamanaka pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and forgery in court

in Japan on Monday. The plea leaves questions unanswered about how he

kept massive trading losses a secret for ten years and whether there was

a deliberate attempt to manipulate world copper prices.



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