Integrity Legal

11th February 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that many of the Stock Exchanges around the world are in open discussion regarding possible merger. It would appear that many of the companies which operate various bourses around the globe are keen to exploit the efficiencies and opportunities which could arise as a result of multi-jurisdictional trading. This is even true in the case of the United States of America as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) could be merged with an exchange in Frankfurt, Germany. The official website of America’s National Public Radio has more information regarding this issue. To quote directly from NPR.org:

The company that operates the New York Stock Exchange could soon be acquired by a European company in a deal that could be announced as soon as next week.

NYSE Euronext, the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange and stock and derivatives markets throughout Europe, has confirmed it’s in advanced talks with Deutsche Boerse, which owns the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The deal would create the world’s largest financial exchange, with headquarters in both Europe and the U.S.

Those reading this blog are encouraged to go to the posting noted above to read the full story.

It should be noted that the United States is not the only country whose stock market is contemplating merger with that of a foreign jurisdiction. It recently was announced that the Canadian Stock Exchange (TMX) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE) are in talks about entering deals to merge those two securities exchange platforms. The Financial Times has been reporting on this state of affairs over the past several days. It would appear that the initial enthusiasm that erupted from the announcement that the Canadian and London Exchanges may be merging was overshadowed by the more recent announcement regarding the NYSE and the German Bourse. To quote directly from the official website of the Financial Times, FT.com:

The limelight may have rapidly moved to the US and Germany but those behind the merger of the London Stock Exchange and TMX, operator of Canada’s largest bourse, insist it was the right deal to do…

The deal, which will create a company worth more than $5bn (£3.1bn), is intended to create the world’s leading cash equities platform for mining companies, as countries including Brazil, China and Mongolia look to exploit their natural resources.

Those seeking further information on this topic are well advised to visit the Financial Times posting noted above.

This blogger was interested when reading the above cited story because the country of Mongolia would appear interested in having their business interests represented on a British-Canadian exchange rather than an exchange in Asia. Mongolia’s desire to acquire investment capital may have been “trumped” by worries that listing on an exchange in Asia would run counter to the country’s strategic long term geopolitical interests.

It should be noted that the American, Canadian, British, and German stock exchanges are not the only ones which have been discussing possible merger. In fact, the Australian Securities Exchange and the Singapore Stock Exchange have been working out the details of a merger for months. The announcements from the North American, British, and European exchanges regarding possible merger may be a catalyst for the Australian and Singaporean exchanges to conclude their merger discussions more quickly. To quote directly from a posting on the Sydney Morning Herald‘s official website SMH.com.au:

A RUSH of merger proposals among the world’s biggest stock exchanges over the past two days is expected to increase pressure on Canberra to approve Singapore Stock Exchange’s $8.4 billion move on the Australian Securities Exchange.

But with the trans-Atlantic deals designed with an eye to overcoming political concerns, Singapore could be forced to restructure its proposal to give the ASX a greater role in any tie-up.

The administration of this web log encourages readers to visit the posting cited above in order to get the full details of the proposed merger between the Singapore Stock Exchange and the Australia Securities Exchange.

There have been a great many announcements regarding stock exchanges in Southeast Asia. Recently, it was announced that the small Southeast Asian nation of Laos was opening a stock exchange to trade Lao securities. Apparently, the Laos Stock Exchange has been operating smoothly since its opening. Meanwhile, it has also been noted that the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar (also referred to by its former name, Burma) is contemplating the establishment of a Burmese Stock Exchange. However, it remains to be seen whether or not this idea will actually come to fruition as Myanmar remains the subject of sanctions and there are many who believe that the country must deal with humanitarian issues prior to undertaking economic programs such as the establishment of a Burmese Bourse. In fact, there are some who argue that so long as Western sanctions remain imposed against Burma that it will be unlikely that an exchange will be opened in that country. That said, anything could happen and the actual establishment of a Burmese stock exchange remains to be seen.

More concrete plans for the opening of a stock exchange appear to be taking shape in the Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia as further steps have been taken toward the proposed opening of a Cambodian Securities Exchange in mid-2011. The following was quoted directly from the official website of the Phnom Penh Post, PhnomPenhPost.com:

PHNOM Penh Securities opened its doors yesterday, becoming the third of seven approved underwriters to open ahead of the planned launch of the Cambodian stock exchange later this year.

Chairman of the firm, Kay Vat, said a key focus of the business would be guiding foreign firms planning to invest in the Kingdom’s listed companies.

Those wishing to learn more about the proposed Cambodian Stock Exchange are well advised to visit the Phnom Penh Post website noted above.

In other postings on this blog it was noted that the Cambodian Exchange is set to commence trading on or around June of this year. At present, there does not appear to be any talk of a merger between the Thai Stock Exchange (often referred to as the SET) and that of any other nation. Furthermore, Chinese officials do not seem particularly predisposed to any type of multi-jurisdictional merger between those exchanges operating in China and those operating in other countries. However, those following this issue should resist the urge to completely rule out such a possibility, but it seems unlikely in the near future as Thai and Chinese officials do not seem poised to make such an announcement.

Stock Exchanges remain an effective tool for countries wishing to attract foreign capital as many foreign investors enjoy the transparency and greater efficiency that comes from trading on an open exchange. That said, the impact from the  “ripple effect” that may result from the merger of the Canadian, American, British, and German Exchanges remain to be seen as the effect of such mergers could reverberate in the economies that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

American individuals or American companies conducting business abroad should note the fact that all Americans (both natural persons and corporate entities) are required to adhere to the provisions of the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a piece of legislation which attempts to regulate the activity of Americans abroad in a business context. The act is designed to decrease the incidents of graft and corruption perpetrated by Americans doing business abroad. American businesses and individuals investing or doing business abroad may find the assistance of an attorney useful when attempting to comply with the FCPA in an international context.

For related information please see: Thailand Company or US Company Registration.


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One Response to “Stock Exchanges Around The World Are Talking Merger”

  1. Stock Market says:

    Thanks so much for this! I haven’t been this moved by a blog for a long time! You’ve got it, whatever that means in blogging. Anyway, You are definitely someone that has something to say that people need to hear. Keep up the good work. Keep on inspiring the people!
    regards:
    Stock Market

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