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Mon 20 Dec 2010 10:42 AM

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Update: DIFC chief denies $1.5bn Abu Dhabi offer

Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer says there are no offers from Abu Dhabi, and Dubai is not offering to sell

Update: DIFC chief denies $1.5bn Abu Dhabi offer
Borse Dubai, which controls Dubai’s two stock exchanges, paid about $4bn in 2007 for a stake in Nasdaq OMX and 20 percent of the LSE

Abu Dhabi is not in talks to buy Dubai's financial assets, including Dubai International Financial Center and a 20 percent stake in the London Stock Exchange, the DIFC governor has said.

"There
are no offers from Abu Dhabi," Arabic daily al Bayan quoted Ahmed Humaid
Al Tayer as saying. "There
is nothing on offer to sell."

British newspaper The Sunday Times yesterday reported that Abu Dhabi is in talks to buy the 20 percent stake in the LSE held by Dubai, in a deal valued at $1.5bn.

The proposed deal would see a merger of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange with the Dubai International Financial Centre and Borse Dubai, which owns the stake, the report said, without identifying the source of the information.

The stake would form part of a wider buyout of Dubai’s financial assets.

Tayer said the report was "not true".

A spokesperson for the London Stock Exchange declined to comment on the report.

Borse Dubai, which controls Dubai’s two stock exchanges, paid about $4bn for a stake in Nasdaq OMX and 20 percent of the LSE, as part of a 2007 deal that saw Nasdaq merge with Sweden's OMX group.

The company last week sold shares in Nasdaq OMX Group to help pay $1.1bn of a $2.45bn term-loan ahead of schedule. It raised $497m from the sale of 22.78 million shares to Nasdaq and sold a further eight million Nasdaq shares to Investor AB, the holding company for Sweden's Wallenberg family.

It is thought the deal raised about $175m.

Borse Dubai has around $827m of debt maturing in February 2011 and the company said it would use the proceeds from the Nasdaq share sales to meet these obligations.

The state-owned Qatar Investment Authority holds a 15 percent stake in LSE.

 

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