Stock exchange merger threatened

Nick Huber

Nick Huber

A hostile takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange by Swedish technology supplier OM Group is threatening the proposed merger of the London and Frankfurt stock exchanges.

OM supplies trading technology to a range of exchanges, including the US Amex stock exchange, and supplies software for securities and risk management systems. In June OM also established the UK Power Exchange (UKPX), a screen-based trading service for the electricity industry.

The OM bid could lead to renewed calls to delay next month's vote on the proposed merger between the London and Frankfurt exchanges, which would create iX, Europe's largest stock exchange.

The iX merger will require London stockbroker firms to scrap the existing Sets trading system and move to Xetra, which is used by the German Deutsche Borse market. Consultants have estimated that larger LSE member firms could each face at least £500,000 in IT conversion costs.

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