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Argus welcomes IOSCO’s positive report on implementation of the IOSCO PRA Principles

London, 9 September 2014

Global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus welcomes today’s report from the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) on implementation of the principles for price reporting agencies (the IOSCO PRA Principles). IOSCO concludes: “during the first year of implementation the four PRAs have made good progress with regard to the PRA Principles.”

The report also confirms that “IOSCO does not believe that further alignment of the PRA Principles with those for the Financial Benchmarks Principles is justified.”
IOSCO’s report reviews progress made by Argus and three other leading PRAs in implementing the IOSCO PRA Principles. The IOSCO PRA Principles were published in October 2012 and were endorsed by the G20 in November 2012. They cover governance, control, quality, integrity and conflict management in relation to commodity benchmark price assessments published by PRAs.

Noting the significant commitment made by the PRAs at all levels of their operations, IOSCO’s report says “discussions held with the four main PRAs made clear that the implementation of the PRA Principles had support across the PRAs’ business activities, from data collection supervision through to executive level management”. Today’s report confirms that the PRAs “have made changes to align their policies and procedures with the PRA Principles and invested considerable time and resources in doing so.”

One key requirement under the IOSCO PRA Principles is an annual external assurance review to demonstrate compliance with the principles. Argus has successfully completed two independent assurance reviews by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) during the past 12 months. Argus led the way in October 2013 with the first independent review of oil benchmarks. In February this year, Argus became the first and only PRA to successfully complete an assurance review in relation to non-oil benchmarks, as recommended by IOSCO. Both assurance review reports are available here.

IOSCO’s report says of the reviews: “The external review process has been undertaken in accordance with professional assurance standard practices and supports the conclusion that the PRAs have put in place, policies and procedures that are aligned with the PRA Principles. The first year assurance reports validate assertions made by the PRAs that they have made changes to their assessment frameworks and methodology descriptions, record keeping, conflicts of interest management, and complaints process.”

Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said: “I am pleased to see IOSCO’s positive review of implementation of the PRA Principles over the past 12 months. Argus’ implementation forms part of our long-standing commitment to identifying and adopting best practice in commodity price reporting across our business. I am also pleased to see IOSCO’s firm rejection of any need to merge the PRA Principles with IOSCO’s more general Principles for Financial Benchmarks. The PRA Principles were specifically developed for oil and other physical commodity markets, which are highly distinct from financial markets. I would urge EU legislators and policy makers to note IOSCO’s report today and ensure that in regards to PRA benchmarks, the EU’s proposed benchmark regulation fully aligns with IOSCO’s PRA Principles.”

Media contacts:

Seana Lanigan
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Gabriela Alcocer
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Jim Nicholson
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About Argus Media

Argus is an independent media organisation with over 600 full time staff. It is headquartered in London and has offices in each of the world’s principal commodity centres. Its main activities comprise publishing market reports containing price assessments, market commentary and news, and business intelligence reports that analyse market and industry trends.

More than half of Argus employees are commodity journalists who specialise in reporting news and price information relating to physical energy and related commodity markets. They operate according to a rigorous Editorial Code of Conduct and a compliance and ethics policy that align with best journalistic practice, including the avoidance of conflicts of interest.

Argus is a leading provider of data on prices and fundamentals, news, analysis, consultancy services and conferences for the global crude, oil products, natural gas, electricity, coal, emissions, bioenergy, fertilizer, petrochemical, metals and transportation industries. Data provided by Argus are widely used for indexation of physical trade. Companies, governments and international agencies use Argus information for analysis and planning purposes.

Argus has 19 offices globally, including London, Houston, Washington, New York, Calgary, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Dubai, Beijing, Tokyo, Sydney, Moscow, Astana and other key centres of the commodity industries. Argus was founded in 1970 and is a privately held UK-registered company.

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