Global financial regulators have backed away from a proposal to regulate oil price reporting media, recommending a set of guidelines that largely reinforce their existing practice in assessing prices of the world’s biggest traded commodity.
The conclusion was detailed in a draft final report of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), Principles for Oil Price Reporting Agencies, seen by Reuters yesterday.
Under pressure to curb speculation blamed for huge swings in the market, the Group of 20 (G20) top economies last year asked IOSCO to look at the role of price reporting agencies (PRAs).
The lead agencies are Platts, owned by McGraw-Hill, ICIS, a unit of Reed Elsevier and privately-held Argus Media.
A consultation paper in March floated the idea of setting up independent oil market regulators for physical oil markets. But the draft report said heavy regulation could prove counterproductive.
“Because data are submitted on a voluntary basis, precipitous regulation of PRAs or requirements that oil market participants who submit data to PRAs submit all of their transaction data potentially could result in some oil market participants to decrease or even cease their submission of data to PRAs,” the draft report said.
An IOSCO spokesperson said the draft report would be discussed at an IOSCO board meeting next week and, if approved, it would be published in early October, ahead of the G20 gathering in November.
The report listed a number of principles for PRAs to follow, which included requiring the agencies to submit formal methodolgy for their price assessments, develop measures designed to minimise selective reporting by market players, give priority to concluded transactions and keep a five-year paper trail of how prices are worked out.