SGX downplays size after failed ASX exchange deal

By Maria Aspan and Jonathan Spicer

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Singapore Exchange Ltd CEO Magnus Bocker, whose takeover of market operator ASX Ltd was blocked by the Australian government earlier this year, warned Friday that size alone will not determine which bourses ultimately succeed.

Bockner, speaking at a conference hosted by Sandler O’Neill, also said it was a bit “sad” from Australia’s perspective that the door was closed to the planned cross-border tie-up.

“There is a danger if you think that scale is survival,” he told reporters after his presentation. “Size will never be the single winner in this.”

Bocker was less than enthusiastic about the current round of merger mania in the exchanges space, telling reporters that Singapore is “focusing on organic growth.”

Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX) in April withdrew its bid for Australia’s ASX Ltd after the government there blocked it, illustrating the hurdles to such cross-border deals for bourses.

This sparked talk that SGX could look to Nasdaq OMX Group Inc or London Stock Exchange Group Plc as possible partners. (Reporting by Maria Aspan and Jonathan Spicer; editing by John Wallace)