SGX takeover of ASX "to be blocked"

City A.M. Reporter
The Australian government said it intends to reject the Singapore Exchange's proposed $7.8bn (£4.8bn) takeover bid for Australian stock-exchange operator ASX on national interest grounds.

SGX and ASX wanted to team up to cut costs, fight growing pressure from alternative trading platforms and avoid being left behind as rivals in North America and Europe get together.

But Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan, under pressure from intensifying political opposition, said he had serious doubts about the bid and intended to reject the deal.

"FIRB (Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board) informed SGX that I had serious concerns about the proposal and that, subject to further consideration, I intended to accept the unanimous FIRB advice that the takeover would not be in the national interest," Swan said.

A final decision had not been made, he added.