Markets look to merge down under

Australian Stock Exchange and New Zealand Stock Exchange begin investigating the possibility of merging operations, with a direct buy out by the ASX the most likely outcome.

The Australian Stock Exchange ASX and New Zealand Stock Exchange NZSE today announced that representatives of the two exchanges have begun meeting to investigate the possibility of a merger. According to a statement it was decided last week that merging the two stock exchanges and their markets had sufficient merit to warrant more detailed investigation, and that this would take place over the next few months.

Richard Harrison, an analyst at Australian Equities Research, says that the form of any so-called merger would likely be an acquisition of the NZSE by the ASX. Given the fact that the ASX is 17 times the size of the NZSE in terms of both market cap...

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