Singapore bourse seeks 'other opportunities'

SINGAPORE, April  8, 2011 (AFP) - The Singapore stock exchange said Friday it would seek growth opportunities elsewhere after Canberra rejected a proposed merger with the Australian bourse.

Singapore Exchange (SGX) said in a statement that as a regional "gateway", the exchange "is well-positioned to leverage on opportunities within Asia's vibrant and dynamic economies".

"Asia will remain the world's growth engine in the coming decades," it said.

SGX issued the statement after Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan officially blocked the proposed merger of the Australian and Singapore stock exchanges, describing it instead as a takeover that would damage national interests.

"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," Swan said.

SGX said it will look for opportunities elsewhere as well as other forms of cooperation with the Australia Securities Exchange (ASX).

"As Asia's most international exchange, we will continue to pursue organic as well as other strategic growth opportunities, including further dialogue with ASX on other forms of co-operation," SGX said.

Singapore, which registered Asia's fastest growth rate at nearly 15 percent last year, is a global financial centre and is the headquarters of thousands of multinational corporations doing business in the Asia-Pacific region.