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Nasdaq reacts to spate of deals in the stock markets industry

Thursday, February 24th 2011 - 07:16 UTC
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One of the options is tying up with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange One of the options is tying up with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc could launch a rival bid for NYSE Euronext to avoid being left on the sidelines, a source said, as traditional exchanges race to merge to see off upstart electronic rivals.

This is one option Nasdaq, valued at 5.7 billion USD is considering as a spate of deals shakes up an industry under intense cost pressure from new entrants such as BATS Global Markets, which last week snapped up rival Chi-X.

Nasdaq's alternatives include tying up with Intercontinental Exchange Inc or the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to wrest NYSE from its planned 10.2 billion USD takeover by Deutsche Boerse, the source familiar with the matter said.

Meanwhile, Toronto market operator TMX Group Inc pressed the case for its agreed deal with London Stock Exchange warning lawmakers opposing the tie up that Canada risked damaging its free-trade credentials if it blocked it.

TMX Chief Executive Thomas Kloet told reporters he was taking political opposition to a deal “very seriously”.

Even so, he said Canada was putting its reputation on free trade and competition on the line as it considers a proposal to create a transatlantic operator worth 7 billion USD in market value and the world's fifth-largest exchange ranked by trading volume.

“One of the things Canada has to make sure to consider as it goes through this is what if it says no,” Kloet said.

But outside Canada, most attention had focused on merger talks between Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext rather than LSE and TMX. The proposes combination is drawing comparisons with CME, the world's biggest derivatives marketplace.

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