By Gavin Davids
Canadian regulators could step in over Dubai’s 11.3% stake in proposed $6.7bn LSE, TMX merger
Borse Dubai has refused to comment on reports that it will sell part of its stake in the London Stock Exchange to push through a proposed $6.7bn merger between LSE and Canada’s TMX.
An unnamed Borse Dubai official was reported as saying the company would consider cutting its 20 percent stake in LSE to assuage Canadian fears over the proposed deal, bringing its share in the merged exchange to less than 10 percent.
When contacted by Arabian Business, a spokesperson for Borse Dubai declined to comment.
Ontario this week said it may move to block the merger over fears Dubai will end up owning 11.3 percent of the combined entity, making it the largest single shareholder.
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said the proposed deal had raised political red flags that could prompt the Canadian government to step in and derail the deal.
“We do business in the Middle East. I am just not sure I want them owning our stock exchange,” Duncan told a local newspaper, the Globe & Mail.
Under Canadian law, the province of Ontario can move to block the stock exchange deal if it deems it not to be in the public interest.
The row over the stock exchange is the latest round in a long running diplomatic feud between the UAE and Canada, sparked by Ontario’s refusal to grant new landing rights to UAE carriers.
Borse Dubai saw its 20 percent stake in the LSE gain more than $25m overnight on news of the proposed merger, which would create the world’s fourth largest exchange.
The combined entity would become a top centre for trading mining and energy shares, with an estimated $4.1 trillion of stock changing hands each year.