* ICE says will not resume spot trade until Feb. 1
* Analyst estimates 350 mln eur transaction loss
(Recasts lead; updates throughout)
LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - European emissions exchanges are unlikely to resume spot carbon trading activity this week, potentially resulting in lost transactions of around 350 million euros ($478.7 million) if the spot trade freeze in the EU’s emissions trading scheme lasts until the start of February.
Most European emissions exchanges suspended spot trading last Thursday when the EU Commission imposed a week-long freeze after a potentially concerted theft by cyber criminals of emissions permits worth up to 30 million euros. [ID:nLDE70J0Q9] [ID:nLDE70J0Q9]
The suspension was supposed to be at least partially lifted by 1800 GMT on Wednesday but the commission said late on Tuesday it would only reactivate member states’ carbon registries when they have met minimum security requirements and it would give the market 24 hours’ notice when it did so. [ID:nLDE70O1OP]
Some registries have already said they would delay restarting for at least a week as they need more time to perform further security testing. [ID:nLDE70O1OP]
Emissions exchange ICE Futures Europe (ICE.N) will not reopen for spot carbon trading until Feb. 1, it said in a note to members on Wednesday.
“The suspension of trading in the (spot) contracts is extended until open of business on Tuesday, 1 February 2011, subject to further notice,” it said.
Other exchanges declined to give specific dates for reopening but are likely to follow the largest EU emissions exchange.
“No decision has been made yet, but (reopening exchanges) should be a joint effort and the ICE (date) should be a guideline,” a spokesman at Dutch bourse Climex said.
French spot exchange BlueNext is waiting for a full list of missing permits from the EU Commission or carbon registries before reopening.
A spokesman from GreenX said the exchange is not ready to relist its spot equivalent contract for trading until it receives full information about the list of stolen permits.
“We will be delayed also, but we are still analysing the situation and haven’t decided a date yet,” said Anne-Marit Rudby, spokeswoman at Nasdaq OMX Commodities (NDAQ.O).
If the majority of spot trade is closed until Feb. 1, it could result in about 350 million euros’ worth of transactions lost, according to Emmanuel Fages, carbon analyst at Societe Generale/orbeo.
The analyst based the estimate on figures for spot and daily futures business in 2010. (Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by James Jukwey)