In the depths of the coldest European winter for 300 years, the announcement in February of the proposed merger between Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext sparked a storm of debate and set the scene for a deal jamboree across global exchanges. However the merger mania was soon met with the cold wind of reality as deals collapsed in the wake of protectionism and competition concerns.
Within weeks of
the Deutsche/Euronext tie-up being announced London Stock
Exchange bid for Toronto Stock Exchange parent TMX Group and
BATS Global Markets said it would buy fellow equities MTF Chi-X
Europe. Nasdaq OMX and Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange
went hostile in a rival bid for NYSE Euronext, and the stage
looked set for a red-hot summer of consolidation.
In the event, however,
investors were left decidedly underwhelmed. Within weeks
political objections emanating from Canada prompted LSE to pull
the plug on the TMX deal, while the Australian government
scuttled an $8.3bn Singapore Exchange bid to buy Sydney-based
"Both the Canadian and
Australian interventions were clearing politically motivated,"
says Will Rhode, a senior analyst at Tabb Group. "There is a
legacy of connection between national stock exchanges and
national identity, and nationalist interest clearly still plays
a part in deciding whether proposed mergers will
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