Exchanges eye new disposals

STOCK exchange giants Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext offered to sell off large chunks of their derivatives businesses yesterday in a new offer to try to push their $10bn (£6.4bn) merger through European regulators.

The two exchanges said they would be willing to sell off more of their European single equity derivatives businesses currently operated by NYSE Liffe, NYSE Euronext’s derivatives arm.

City A.M. understands that the exchanges previously offered to sell off those businesses in smaller markets such as Switzerland and Germany, but will now also divest activities in Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon and Paris.

They also agreed to allow the buyer of the assets to use Eurex Clearing, the Deutsche Boerse-owned clearing house, to clear the derivatives trades, and to use a licenced copy of Eurex’s trading system to allow the launch of interest rate derivatives.

“The parties have strengthened their original proposal with respect to European single equity derivatives by increasing the assets to be included in the divestiture, and to provide the purchaser of that business with an option to access Eurex Clearing for single equity derivatives products,” NYSE Euronext said in a statement.

The two exchanges have extended the concessions after the European competition watchdog warned that previous concessions did not go far enough. Regulators fear the combined group will control too much of Europe’s derivatives market.

The exchanges said the proposals should “fully address the Commission’s remaining concerns while preserving the industrial and economic logic of the merger”.