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  1. #1
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    SGX, ASX in talks

    SGX, ASX in talks
    Goh Eng Yeow
    Oct 23, 2010


    The Singapore Stock Exchange was expected to make a full takeover bid for the ASX on Monday.

    ST PHOTO: TERENCE TAN

    THE Singapore Exchange stunned financial markets across the region on Friday after reports emerged that it is in talks to merge with Australia's bourse operator, the ASX.

    Trading in the shares of both exchanges was halted yesterday afternoon pending an official announcement that could come as soon as Monday.

    SGX spokesman Magdalyn Liew declined to comment, while the ASX would only say that it was in talks about 'a possible business combination'.

    The deal would bolster both firms in an increasingly competitive financial market, especially the ASX, which will lose its share trading monopoly next year.

    It would also make the SGX one of the most valuable bourses in the world once it combines its market value of US$10 billion (S$13 billion) with the Australian firm's $8 billion.

    Only the HK Exchange with a market value of $30 billion and US-based CME Group - which operates a futures exchange and has a market value of $24.7 billion - would be more valuable.

    straitstimes.com

  2. #2
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    They are both useless if they dont pay a dividend. The TMX group that runs the TSX in Canada pays a good divvy. 4 or 5%.

  3. #3
    I am in Jail
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    SGX is the dodgiest of all the exchanges in the region, why would they take over ASX ? to change their bad reputation ?

    SGX one of the worst exchange ever,

  4. #4
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    Singapore stock exchange in Australian merger bid
    25/10

    Singapore’s stock exchange has unveiled an agreed takeover bid for its Australian equivalent in a drive to compete with the region’s other financial powerhouses, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

    Under the proposed deal, the merger between SGX and ASX, the company that owns the Sydney-based exchange, would be worth almost six billion euros. It still has to be approved and faces several hurdles, notably in Australia.

    The two companies would remain separate entities.

    “There have been cross-border exchange mergers before, but never a consolidation arguably involving the east and the west – and moreover, never one positioned as this group will be, in the fastest growing region of the world,” said ASX Chief Executive Robert Elstone.

    Australia’s parliament needs to lift a 15 per cent ownership cap on ASX, and it is thought that regulators may be sceptical about the deal.

    ASX shares have been trading below the offer price because of the potential obstacles.

    euronews.net

  5. #5
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    Australian lawmakers attack Singapore ASX takeover
    October 29, 2010

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Key lawmakers on Tuesday signaled they might scuttle the Singapore Exchange's $8.3 billion cash and shares takeover offer for the operator of the Australian bourse.

    Opposition Liberal Party treasury spokesman Joe Hockey raised concerns that the takeover, announced Monday, was not in Australia's national interest while Greens Party leader Bob Brown said he was swayed against the deal by Singapore's human rights record.

    The two parties command a majority in the Senate where they could block the deal which has yet to be approved by a range of regulators.

    The takeover of Australian Securities Exchange Ltd., the monopoly stock market operator known as ASX, by a company part owned by the Singapore government would create the world's fifth–largest stock exchange company by market value.

    Brown said he was concerned by Singapore's human rights record and by the island state's execution of an Australian drug smuggler in 2005 despite Australian government pleas for his life.

    "We should tell them nothing doing," Brown told reporters at Parliament House of the deal.

    "This is a state that tramples all over freedom of speech, democracy, the rights of oppositions, the ability for public discourse," he said.

    Hockey said Singapore competed with Australia for jobs in the financial sector and the government needed to explain how Australia would benefit from a combined stock exchange company headquartered in Singapore.

    "We've got to consider carefully, when a monopoly in the Australian market is being bought out by an overseas interest, whether that is in our interest," Hockey said.

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard said it would be "highly inappropriate" for the government to comment on the takeover, which has yet to be examined by the government's Foreign Investment Review Board, to judge whether it would be in Australia's interests.

    "I believe questions of foreign investment should be looked at through proper processes," Gillard told reporters. "We should be guided by Australia's national interest and our prosperity."

    Treasurer Wayne Swan would make the final decision, after receiving the board's advice, on whether the takeover should be allowed.

    But the parliament could block the necessary regulatory changes.

    Swan told parliament on Tuesday that he would also seek advice from the central bank and corporate regulator on the national interest question.

    "We will continue to consider all transactions with the objective of carefully and methodically building Australia's reputation as a financial services hub and as always will do this in the national interest and I ask all members in this parliament to do the same," Swan said.

    Market doubts that the deal would gain regulatory approval dragged the ASX share price down, said Shaw Stockbroking senior dealer Jamie Spiteri.

    The stock sank 7.4 percent to 38.67 Australian dollars ($38.24) after gaining more than 20 percent the day before. Singapore Exchange shares dropped 2.6 percent to 8.72 Singapore dollars ($6.73).

    The ASX is set to lose its monopoly on operating a stock market in Australia in 2011 and an affiliate of Chi–X Europe is planning to set up a trading system once the monopoly is abolished. Singapore, meanwhile, has long lagged behind Hong Kong and Tokyo as a regional financial center.

    The exchange operating company formed from the takeover of ASX would have a market value of $12.3 billion and be responsible for some 2,700 listed companies.

    topnews360.tmcnet.com

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    PM veils warning on ASX takeover
    October 31, 2010

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has signalled a warning to the coalition not to destroy bipartisan support for foreign investment over the proposed takeover of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) by its Singapore counterpart.

    Ms Gillard on Sunday said she had raised the issue of the Singapore Stock Exchange's (SGX) takeover bid with her Singapore counterpart during a visit to Hanoi for the 16-nation East Asia Summit.

    There was a process to go through ahead of any foreign takeover, Ms Gillard said.

    There had been long-held bipartisan support on foreign investment rules, she said.

    "I certainly hope that no one would seek to criticise or destroy the assessment of foreign investment," she told ABC Television.

    Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said he had discussions with the ASX on Friday.

    He said the ASX had made a very good point: that it had been a monopoly in recent times and competition was going to come.

    "It's a question of whether we get competition and how we get competition," Mr Hockey told the Nine Network on Sunday.

    Treasurer Wayne Swan had to explain to people why the Singapore takeover was in the national interest.

    news.smh.com.au

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    Singapore merger 'unequivocally' good for Australia: ASX
    04 December 2010

    SYDNEY - Australia's stock exchange chief lauded a proposed multi-billion-dollar merger with Singapore's bourse Saturday, saying the nation was "indebted" to Asia and should seek greater regional integration.

    Robert Elstone, chief executive of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), said the 8.3-billion-US-dollar merger was a "natural competitive and regulatory evolution of Australia's capital markets" as power shifted to Asia.

    The bid, announced in October, sparked a strong political backlash in Canberra, where key independent lawmakers questioned Singapore's human rights and democracy record and argued that the deal would disadvantage Australia.

    Elstone said the ASX would "in the near future" release information to counter the criticism and show how the proposed merger "advances Australia's national interest."

    "As a nation we are indebted to the strength of Asia's industrialising economies and their appetite for our resources -- factors that helped us avoid the worst effects of the global financial crisis," Elstone wrote in The Australian newspaper.

    "Yet, despite talk of becoming more integrated with the pan-Asian economy, a transaction to achieve this causes parts of the community to raise the spectre of loss of national sovereignty, without understanding the protection afforded by the existing regulatory framework or the competitive forces that threaten to marginalise ASX if parochialism prevails."

    Elstone said the merger would increase the size and diversity of options for investors and reduce costs for listed companies -- "an outcome unequivocally in the national interest."

    "The need for additional scale and regional relevance makes ASX's participation in exchange consolidation a mandatory, not an elective, matter for all of its stakeholders, and not just its shareholders," he wrote.

    Though it would be the "first major regional exchange group in the Asian time zone", Elstone "emphatically" rejected concerns that governance and regulation of the market would shift to Singapore.

    "The Australian operations of the merged group will remain under Australian law and regulated by Australian authorities," he said.

    The move, scheduled to be completed in mid-2011, aims to create the world's fifth-biggest exchange with a market capitalisation of about 12.3 billion US dollars as a regional trading hub to rival Hong Kong.

    The deal will be reviewed by Australia's securities, foreign investment and competition watchdogs, as well as the central bank, and must be approved by Treasurer Wayne Swan, who has promised "extensive regulatory consideration".

    Australia's parliament -- where Prime Minister Julia Gillard holds just a one-vote majority in the lower house -- will then have to pass a bill that would allow ownership of more than 15 percent of the ASX.

    channelnewsasia.com

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    SGX, ASX revamp merger proposal: Statement
    Feb 16, 2011


    Shares in the Singapore and Australian stock exchanges were halted on Feb 15, pending an announcement on merger news.

    PHOTO: REUTERS

    SYDNEY - THE Australian and Singapore bourses revamped their merger proposal on Tuesday, promising an equal number of directors from each country in a bid to overcome political hurdles threatening the massive deal.

    The two exchanges also pledged to maintain operations, assets and key staff in Australia, and to invest in new products. The deal had prompted a backlash in Australia focusing on Singapore's democracy and rights record.

    'The changes and commitments announced today, combined with existing regulatory protections, strengthen our belief that the ASX-SGX merger proposal is in the best interest of shareholders and in the national interest of Australia,' ASX chairman David Gonski said.

    SGX chairman Chew Soon Seng will head the board, which has been cut to 13 and will include five Singaporeans and five Australians. It will also have three international directors, including ASX-SGX CEO-designate Magnus Bocker.

    'These commitments demonstrate the SGX's belief in the merits and benefits of the merger, address concerns that have been expressed, and provide further clarity as to how the merged entity will operate in the future,' Mr Chew said. The ASX and SGX announced plans in October for a merger that would create one of the world's largest and most diversified financial trading hubs.

    The deal will be reviewed by Australia's securities, foreign investment and competition watchdogs, as well as the central bank, and must be approved by Treasurer Wayne Swan and parliament.

    straitstimes.com

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    TREASURER Wayne Swan has all but rejected Singapore's $8.4 billion bid for Australia's major stock exchange group, warning that the current takeover plan fails the national interest test.

    Swan dooms ASX-Singapore merger | Herald Sun

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