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NEWS UPDATES 4 November 2010

Long road to bourse merge

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Magnus Bocker, CEO of the Singapore Exchange, said the road to a successful merger with the Australian Securities Exchange will be "long and bumpy".

However, Mr. Bocker said SGX would do what it takes to see the alliance through. He added that SGX is making efforts to complete the merger by the second quarter of next year -- the deadline that was indicated by the company when it announced the deal on October 25.

SGX's S$10.7 billion takeover bid for ASX has run into political opposition with several Australianlawmakers threatening to block it in Canberra's hung parliament saying the deal, which will create the world's fifth-biggest exchange by market capitalisation, is not in Australia's national interests.

The takeover needs approvals from regulators in both Singapore and Australia. It also needs the Australian parliament to relax a law that prohibits a single company from owning more than 15 per cent of ASX.

"We will go through it and we will provide the necessary information," Mr. Bocker said. SGX and ASX wouldn't have come up with the proposal "unless we thought it was very, very good for all the stakeholders involved," he added.

Bocker was speaking to the media on the sidelines of KPMG's 2010 Enterprise 50 Awards.

SGX is speaking to shareholders, analysts and listed companies about the merger, said Mr Bocker.

Some market watchers have questioned the viability of the merger and asked if SGX was overpaying, but Bocker said that the reactions so far were expected and only "natural".

"The objections so far have been not so much a reaction to the transaction," Bocker said.

Many of the requests for more information about the deal have focused on the consequences of the transaction on the two countries; the companies that are listed on both exchanges; as well as investors who trade in these securities, the SGX CEO told reporters.

"That's where we will spend the time -- to help them to answer those questions," he said.

SGX shares rose 0.11 per cent on Wednesday to S$8.91.

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