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Sun 27 May 2007 12:38 PM

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DIFC to bid for Scandinavian exchange

DIFC reportedly plans to counter Nasdaq's agreed acquisition of OMX.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is reportedly planning a counterbid to the agreed $3.77 billion takeover of Scandinavian exchange OMX.

DIFC has appointed HSBC to advise it on the bid for OMX, which last week agreed to be taken over by the Nasdaq New York exchange, according to the Sunday Times.

OMX operates exchanges in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland, and its deal with Nasdaq would create a $7.6 billion company operating in eight countries.

The move would be another display of DIFC's international ambitions and comes just weeks after DIFC
bought a 2.2% stake in Deutsche Bank AG.

However, the report contradicts a statement made by DIFC governor Omar bin Suleiman, who said last week the centre would not consider making a bid for OMX.

DIFC, HSBC and OMX all declined to comment on the report today.

"We don't know where this journalist got this information from, but we do not comment on market rumours," a DIFC spokesperson told ArabianBusiness.com.

The boards of directors at both Nasdaq and OMX have already agreed to their merger and said last week the companies

expected total pre-tax annual synergies of $150 million, including $100 million of cost synergies and $50 million of revenue synergies.

The new company will be called Nasdaq OMX Group, they said.

The merger is just the latest in a wave of consolidation in the industry that has seen the New York Stock Exchange merge with France's Euronext to form NYE Euronext, while German exchange Deutsche Boerse has said it will buy New York-based International Securities Exchange.

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