Borse Dubai closes in on global network with Nasdaq

04 January 2008
Borse Dubai expects to complete a series of deals with Nasdaq by the end of the first quarter to establish a network of stock exchanges stretching from the US to Dubai and Europe.

Under the terms of its deal with Nasdaq, Borse Dubai will acquire at least 67 per cent of shares in Nordic exchange operator OMX for up to $4.9bn, which it will swap for a combination of cash and shares in Nasdaq.

Borse Dubai, which owns both the Dubai Financial Market and the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), received regulatory approval from the US Committee on Foreign Investment on 1 January for its 20 per cent investment in Nasdaq. Nasdaq shareholders have yet to approve the capital increase, but one source close to the deal says it should be a formality.

The Dubai stock exchange group is now due to submit its tender offer to OMX shareholders on 7 January. They are also expected to approve the acquisition. The offer has received the unanimous approval of the OMX board and would result in the creation of Nasdaq OMX Group. The deal is expected to close in February. Following the transfer of shares in OMX, Nasdaq has agreed to invest and take a 35 per cent stake in the DIFX, which will be rebranded as Nasdaq DIFX. Nasdaq DIFX will replace its trading system with OMX technology, which is already used by the DFM.

“We will pursue our [DIFX] agreement with Nasdaq once the OMX deal is over,” says Essa Kazim, chairman of Borse Dubai. “We will restructure the company.”

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