UPDATE 1-LME, Goldman named in U.S. lawsuit on aluminium warehousing
LONDON/NEW YORK, Aug 4 (Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange and U.S. bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have been named as co-defendants in a U.S. class-action lawsuit about aluminium storage, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) said.
The lawsuit alleges "anticompetitive and monopolistic behaviour in the warehousing market in connection with aluminium prices," London Metal Exchange owner HKEx said in a statement on Sunday.
The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, filed on Aug. 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, is Superior Extrusion, Inc.
"LME management's initial assessment is that the suit is without merit and LME will contest it vigorously," HKEx said.
The move comes just days after Goldman Sachs bent to mounting political pressure and regulatory scrutiny of its Metro International metals business, by offering customers immediate access to aluminium stored in its warehouses.
"We believe this suit is without merit and we intend to vigorously contest it," a Goldman Sachs spokesman said. "I would also note that aluminium prices are down 40 percent from their peak in 2004," he said.