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Wed 10 Oct 2007 12:40 AM

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Swedish crime unit probes OMX bid leak

Economic Crimes Bureau to investigate possible leak of information over joint bid for bourse owner.

Sweden's Economic Crimes Bureau will begin a probe into a possible leak of information regarding a joint bid for bourse owner OMX, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.

"I have decided to start a preliminary investigation," said Robert Engstedt of the crime bureau.

He told Reuters the probe was not into any specific entities at this stage. "It's a very low level of suspicion, but I have to start a preliminary investigation," he said.

OMX's board has recommended a cash offer of 265 crowns per share from state-run Borse Dubai, which has teamed up with US exchange Nasdaq to purchase the Nordic and Baltic exchange owner.

Nasdaq and Borse Dubai first joined forces to bid for OMX on September 20. On September 26 they raised their offer and said they had received acceptances representing 47.6% of OMX shares.

"It's about suspicions that information was leaked, information that was not known by the public and it focuses on two days, the 18th and 19th of September," Engstedt said.

Engstedt said a report from the Stockholm stock exchange to Sweden's Financial Supervisory Authority had been sent to him and that this formed some of the basis for his decision.

He said the bureau takes as much time as it needs with such investigations.

Anders Ackebo, head of the surveillance unit at the Nordic bourse, said his department's work led to the investigation.

"All this started with us detecting that there was some suspicious trading," he told Reuters.

The surveillance unit operates independently from OMX, which itself welcomed the probe.

"We think it's good that these kinds of issues are looked into," said OMX spokesman Jonas Rodny. "As an operator, we think abuse of the market needs to be taken care of."

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