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Thu 14 Feb 2008 02:34 AM

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Borse Dubai set to seal OMX deal

Takeover of Nordic exchange group on course to be completed this month, says chief exec.

Borse Dubai's takeover of Nordic exchanges group OMX is on course to be completed this month and no other big deals are foreseen for now, OMX Chief Executive Magnus Bocker said on Wednesday.

Bocker said he expected to announce on Friday that acceptances from OMX shareholders had passed the 67% threshold needed for the deal to be done.

"We feel very comfortable we will reach that level and we feel very comfortable we will be able to announce that, but for the exact acceptance number we have to wait until Friday," Bocker told reporters in Brussels.

Bocker said the deal might then be closed at the end of February, with the new company starting in March.

OMX's board has backed a $4.9 billion offer by Borse Dubai. If the offer succeeds, Borse Dubai will then sell on OMX to US exchange Nasdaq in return for a stake in the combined business.

On Wednesday, sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holdings sold 12.04 million shares in OMX, its entire stake.

Bocker said Nasdaq OMX would be one of the world's top exchanges with nearly 4,000 listed companies and providing trading technology to more than 60 exchanges across the world.

"We have a very long and very important list of priorities to go through. Our main focus is to work on integration and not necessarily to look for a big deal," Bocker said.

Small deals were part of the business anyway, he added.

Bocker said the combined exchange would seek alternative ways for its European listings to have exposure to US professional investors without needing a full US listing.

Bocker expects new trading venues to compete for volumes but still sees bourses remaining the central price discovery venue.

"It's not a question of stealing volumes but broadening and growing the market. We are just in an early phase of what Europe will look like," Bocker said, adding that consolidation and changes in the bourse sector were far from over. (Reuters)

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