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Aus watchdog says SGX/ASX deal could block others

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has questioned whether the proposed merger between the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) will prove a barrier for others wanting to compete across the Tasman.The prop

Jamie Gray
Thu, 11 Nov 2010

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has questioned whether the proposed merger between the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) will prove a barrier for others wanting to compete across the Tasman.

The proposed SGX/ASX merger comes just ahead of the planned entry into Australia of a new rival to ASX, Nomura's Chi-X, and a planned joint venture of SGX and Chi-X, called Chi-East.

In a discussion document, the ACCC said it faced two key issues: the potential competitive impact of the proposed merger on the development of competition between exchanges and associated products or services; and whether the proposed merger was likely to impact on the proposed entry of Chi-X, Chi-East or other potential suppliers.

The merger parties have said the combined group will retain ASX and SGX as separate legal and locally regulated entities, and will maintain their existing brands.
SGX is among the world’s largest exchanges, and Asia’s second largest listed exchange.

The ACCC is seeking comments from interested parties to enable it to assess the likely effect of the proposed merger on competition.

The deal has already atttracted a fair amount of political opposition.

The ACCC’s actions are separate from the Foreign Investment Review Board's assessment of the deal, which is based on national interest grounds. The deal also requires treasurer Wayne Swan's seal of approval.

Pessimism as to where the deal will go ahead has weighted heavily on both SGX’s and ASX’s share prices.

Jamie Gray
Thu, 11 Nov 2010
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Aus watchdog says SGX/ASX deal could block others
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