London, 12 October 2020
Leading global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus has successfully completed the ninth external assurance review of its energy and commodity benchmarks and other key prices.
Independent professional services company PwC examined the policies and processes through which Argus assesses prices for crude oil, oil products, LPG, petrochemicals, thermal and coking coal, natural gas, biofuels, biomass, iron ore and steel.
The policies and processes reviewed by PwC were designed by Argus to comply with the principles for price reporting agencies (PRAs) set out by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (the Iosco PRA Principles) in October 2012.
EU financial regulator the European Securities and Markets Authority has also ruled that an annual review against Iosco PRA Principles is sufficient to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the EU Benchmark Regulation (BMR), which came into effect in January 2018.
The prices reviewed included those published by Argus Media and those administered by Argus Benchmark Administration (ABA). ABA was incorporated in the Netherlands in April 2019 to administer all those benchmarks that fall into the scope of the BMR.
Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said: “We take our responsibilities to comply with regulations seriously. Last year we established Argus Benchmark Administration in Amsterdam so that we can continue to operate within EU law. This and the Iosco PRA Principles help demonstrate that our prices, which are used extensively within the energy and commodity markets, are the result of an open, appropriate and reliable methodology.”
Argus became the first PRA to complete an independent review of oil benchmarks, in October 2013, and was the first to extend the Iosco PRA Principles to non-oil energy benchmarks, in January 2014.
The Iosco PRA Principles 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, and require an annual external audit.
The Iosco PRA Principles are available at http://www.iosco.org/library/pubdocs/pdf/IOSCOPD391.pdf