2011/04/11

SGX chief disappointed at bourse merger veto

SINGAPORE, April 11, 2011 (AFP) - The architect of a doomed merger between the Singaporean and Australian stock markets expressed disappointment Monday at Canberra's veto, but said he was still in the hunt for other deals.

The Swedish chief executive of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), Magnus Bocker, issued his first public comments after Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan on Friday formally blocked the tie-up with the Australian Securities Exchange.

"I think we got a very clear signal on Friday," Bocker said on the sidelines of a corporate event. "We will take the time to analyse that. I think there is no doubt that it was a disappointment."

But he added: "The primary focus has been all the time on organic growth... there will always be opportunities like the one with ASX."

Swan had rejected the proposed merger on the grounds that it was essentially a takeover by SGX that offered no benefits to Australia.

"Let's be clear here: this is not a merger. It's a takeover that would see Australia's financial sector become a subsidiary to a competitor in Asia," he said on Friday.

"It was a no-brainer that this deal is not in Australia's national interest."