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LONDON : The London Metal Exchange (LME) will freeze its trading and clearing fees for next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic but will increase some of its other fees, it said on Thursday.

The exchange, the world's oldest and largest market for industrial metals, boosted trading and clearing fees by 8% in 2020 in its first increase for five years.

"In light of market conditions and the global pandemic, no change is proposed to the LME Group trading and clearing fees," the exchange said in a statement.

The 143-year-old LME has in the past come under fire from its members for lofty fees, forcing it to trim proposed increases in 2014.

The exchange, owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd , listed a range of fee increases and said it planned to introduce charges for a new "non-display" market data licence.

"Where changes are proposed, these are as a reflection of either the investment that the LME Group has made in the respective service or as a result of increased ongoing related operational and regulatory costs," it added.

The fee changes include a 2% rise in connectivity charges, increases for its LMEsword digital system for inventory ownership documents and higher deposit rates for the exchange's clearing house.

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