Published On: Fri, Oct 22nd, 2010

ASX in Talks With Singapore Exchange

THE Singapore Stock Exchange is expected to make a full takeover bid for ASX Ltd on Monday after both stocks went into a trading halt.

Singapore is bigger than the Australian Stock Exchange, with a market value of around $S10 billion ($7.8bn) against $6.2bn for the ASX, and is also trading on a multiple of 27 times against 17 times for the ASX.

Final details are still being worked out but it is likely the Singapore exchange will provide the chairman and chief executive, with ASX chair David Gonski to be deputy chair.

The deal will need to be cleared by the Australian government.

The development comes several weeks after the ASX was forced to respond to an article by The Australian’s John Durie, which flagged that it was searching for global merger partners.

It is understood that UBS is acting for ASX Ltd in the talks, with Morgan Stanley on behalf of the Singapore Stock Exchange.

The talks come as pressure mounts on monopoly stock exchange operators to expand globally as new rivals emerge and overseas players consolidate to build larger pools of capital to entice companies to maintain listings.

Source: The Australian

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