25 Oct 2010

Singapore bourse bids for Australian ASX

4:10 pm on 25 October 2010

The Singapore stock exchange has unveiled a multi-billion dollar bid for the company that owns the Australian Stock Exchange.

If approved, the $A8.2 billion takeover would mark the first stock exchange merger in the Asia-Pacific region.

The deal would enhance Singapore as a major financial hub in the region and benefit Australian investors by giving them greater access to Asian markets, the BBC reports.

A merged exchange would hope to compete more effectively with Hong Kong.

It would be the second-largest exchange in the region, SGX chief executive Magnus Bocker said on Monday.

The Singapore bid values ASX at $A48 per share, nearly 40% higher its more recent traded price. The offer is made up of $A22 plus 3.473 SGX shares for each ASX share.

At present, the Singapore exchange is the second-largest in Asia, with Sydney ranked third.

Any merger deal would require approval by the regulatory authorities in both countries.

Pressure to expand

In September, the ASX - which has a market value of $A6 billion - revealed it had held talks with other exchanges to search for potential partners, the ABC reports.

Both the Singapore Exchange and the ASX are under pressure to expand and find new business opportunities.

The ABC reports ASX has also been looking at new business opportunities before the end of its monopoly in 2011.

The Singapore Stock Exchange is worth $A8 billion.