Bourses link up in the US, Europe and Gulf

Dubai/Stockholm, Jan 2 (IANS) Decks are now clear for Dubai’s state-owned stock exchange Borse Dubai Ltd (BDL) to acquire a stake in US equities exchange Nasdaq. In a related move, Nasdaq and BDL will take over the OMX group, which operates stock exchanges in Nordic and Baltic nations, thus linking markets in the US, Europe and the Gulf.

The board of Nordic and Baltic stock exchanges operator, the Stockholm-based OMX group, Wednesday recommended “unanimously” a takeover bid from BDL and Nasdaq, the DPA news agency reported.

Support TwoCircles

“Linking trading centres in the US, Europe and the Middle East will provide members, issuers and all other market participants with considerable opportunity in the changing global capital markets,” OMX board chairman Urban Backstrom said in a statement.

BDL will get Nasdaq’s stake in the London Stock Exchange Group and a 19.9 percent stake in the US exchange, although its voting stake will be limited to five percent, WAM news agency reported Wednesday.

The move will also allow Nasdaq to proceed with its plan to merge with OMX group. After that deal closes, Nasdaq will be known as Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.

Earlier in September 2007, rival bids from Nasdaq and BDL were merged when they announced a deal over the OMX group. The deal had stipulated that BDL would become a 19.99-percent shareholder in Nasdaq with a maximum 5 percent of voting rights.

The OMX statement said the offer of $40.9 per share represented a 52-percent premium on the closing price on May 23, 2007 when Nasdaq made its initial offer.

OMX operates the exchanges of Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki and the three Baltic capitals Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia) and Vilnius (Lithuania).

Nasdaq will make an investment in Dubai International Financial Exchange and enter into certain technology and trademark licences with Borse Dubai and its subsidiary, Dubai International Financial Exchange Ltd.