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Mon 16 Jul 2007 01:59 PM

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OMX shares rise on DIFC rival bid reports

Reports the Dubai exchange was planning a rival offer for the Scandinavian bourse owner saw boost in shares.

Shares in Nordic and Baltic bourse owner OMX rose on Monday after a report that the owner of a Dubai exchange was preparing a rival offer to a bid by U.S. exchange Nasdaq.

The Web site of London's Daily Telegraph reported on Sunday that the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) had funding in place to bid as much as 250 Swedish crowns ($37.66) per OMX share. DIFC owns the Dubai International Financial Exchange.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) declined to comment on Monday on a media report it was preparing to bid for Nordic stock market group OMX AB.

"We don't comment on our investment strategy," Nasser al-Shaali, chief executive of the DIFC, said in Dubai.

A bid by Nasdaq Stock Market Inc, the largest U.S. electronic stock exchange, was worth roughly $3.6 billion or around 199 crowns per share on Monday.

At 0905 GMT shares in OMX were up 3.3% at 217 crowns against a rise of 0.3% in the wider Stockholm market.

OMX owns and runs exchanges in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and the Baltic states. It also supplies exchange technology to around 60 bourses.

One analyst said it was likely that a rival to Nasdaq's bid for OMX would emerge, though he could not comment on DIFC.

"It (the rumour of a bid from Dubai) was there right from the start and now it's been quiet for a while, and I believe there are still those who are going over the numbers of a possible bid," the analyst, who declined to be named, said.

Competition from more nimble electronic rivals, a changing regulatory environment and demand for global trading and lower costs has pushed mainly reluctant exchanges to consolidate over the last few years.