UPDATE 1-SGX CEO says organic growth primary focus after failed merger

* Says there will always be opportunities such as ASX

* Says disappointed by Australian govt’s decision to reject

* Declines to comment on potential tie-up with LSE, CME

* CEO’s first comments after $8 bln merger deal with ASX

(Recasts with quotes on opportunities, background)

By Harry Suhartono

SINGAPORE, April 11 (Reuters) – Singapore Exchange’s
primary focus will be on building its existing
business following the rejection of a planned merger with
Australia’s ASX , its chief executive Magnus Bocker said
on Monday.

“The primary focus has been all the time on organic growth,”
Bocker told reporters in his first public appearance after
Australia rejected SGX’s $8 billion bid for ASX Ltd last week.

The Australian government said changes to the country’s
financial systems were needed before foreigners could buy the
bourse. [ID:nL3E7F73WZ]

Bocker said he was disappointed with the decision and SGX
will take time to analyse it.

He declined to comment on a potential tie-up with the London
Stock Exchange or broader cooperation with the Chicago
Mercantile Exchange .

Currently, SGX has a mutual agreement with CME to clear
certain financial products such as currency futures and the S&P
Nifty futures index (SINc1: Quote, Profile, Research).

Analysts have suggested the London Stock Exchange and CME
Group as potential partners for SGX.

“There will always be opportunities (other) than the one
with ASX,” Bocker said.

Analysts have said the deal’s rejection puts Bocker in a
difficult position because he will struggle to find future
merger partners in Asia due to the reluctance of governments to
sell national assets. Takeover bids by European or U.S.
exchanges are hampered by SGX’s rich valuation.

(Reporting by Harry Suhartono; Writing by Saeed Azhar)

UPDATE 1-SGX CEO says organic growth primary focus after failed merger