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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Nasdaq move pushes LSE shares up
The headquarters of the London Stock Exchange
Speculation is rising about Nasdaq's motives
Shares in the London Stock Exchange (LSE) have risen slightly on Thursday after the US Nasdaq stock market beefed up its holding.

On Wednesday, Nasdaq raised its stake in the LSE to 18.7% from its previous level of 15%.

Shares in the LSE rose 4 pence to 12.48 by the close of trade.

In March this year, Nasdaq withdrew a proposed 2.43bn ($4.2bn) bid for the LSE after the exchange rejected its takeover approach.

The LSE has also fought off interest from Australian investment bank Macquarie, and has been linked with bids from the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext.

However, on Wednesday Euronext said it was no longer interested in making a play for the London market.

Fresh bid?

The feverish interest in the LSE has seen its share price catapult from a low of 458.25p to a high of 12.59p in the past year.

Nasdaq's move increased speculation that it was considering making another takeover move for the LSE.

Analysts said that the size of Nasdaq's stake put it in a strong position in determining the future ownership of the exchange.

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers, said Nasdaq's acquisition was "clearly strategic".

Mr Hunter said if a rival suitor tabled an offer, Nasdaq could either make a profit by selling its stake for more than it bought it for, or "retain some influence over LSE because of the size of its shareholding".

Euronext in Deutsche merger talks
03 May 06 |  Business
Nasdaq snaps up 15% stake in LSE
11 Apr 06 |  Business
Nasdaq withdraws LSE takeover bid
30 Mar 06 |  Business
LSE shares surge on bid war hopes
13 Mar 06 |  Business
Q&A: What's next for the LSE?
13 Mar 06 |  Business

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