Singapore Exchange closes in on ASX deal

THE SINGAPORE Exchange (SGX) is this morning expected to confirm that it will pay around A$8.4bn (£5.26bn) for Australian rival ASX, in a move aimed at combating growing competition from newer trading systems.

SGX is expected to stump up A$48 per share for ASX, with just over half – A$26 per share – paid in stock and the rest in cash, according to reports.

Shares in both companies were suspended on Friday after ASX confirmed it was in talks with another exchange, though it did not name the bidder.

A tie-up between the two firms will create the first pan-regional stock exchange in the area and help catapult Singapore into the top tier of financial centres around the globe.

It comes after SGX recently agreed a number of other deals with rival stock market operators, including the creation of a “dark pool” electronic trading platform in the region with Chi-X Global. The firm also owns five per cent of Bombay’s Stock Exchange and has a partnership with Nasdaq OMX to offer companies the opportunity to cross-list on both exchanges.

Morgan Stanley is advising SGX, with ASX taking advice from UBS.