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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 February 2007, 13:12 GMT
LSE woos Tokyo after US bid fails
London Stock Exchange logo
The LSE has fought off several takeover approaches
The London Stock Exchange is forging ahead with talks with its counterpart in Japan, in the wake of a failed bid for the UK market by US rival Nasdaq.

The LSE said its talks with the Tokyo Stock Exchange were aimed at building closer ties between the two markets.

The news comes a day after the Nasdaq failed to persuade LSE shareholders to back its 2.7bn ($5.3bn) hostile bid for Europe's biggest exchange.

The LSE's board had opposed the bid, describing it as "wholly inadequate".

In a last ditch effort to win support for its 1,243p per share offer, Nasdaq extended a deadline for acceptance of the takeover to 1300 GMT on Saturday.

It's about co-operation, how two exchanges might work together to their mutual advantage
London Stock Exchange spokesman

However, the New York-based exchange - which already holds a 29% stake in the LSE - only managed to win the backing of 0.4% of the London exchange's shareholders.

In a statement issued after Nasdaq's bid deadline elapsed, the LSE said it "welcomed the rejection by shareholders" of the offer.

It added: "The Exchange looks forward to fulfilling its vision to be the world's capital market, without the distraction of ill-considered approaches which fail to understand the value of the business."

Moving closer

The LSE said its talks with the Tokyo Stock Exchange were part of a strategy of broadening alliances with other global exchanges.

Nasdaq stock exchange boards
Nasdaq already owns about 29% of the LSE

The LSE, led by chief executive Clara Furse, is understood to be keen on forging closer links in China and India.

"There are talks between Tokyo and London," an LSE spokesman told the BBC. "It's about co-operation, how two exchanges might work together to their mutual advantage."

However, he stressed the talks were not aimed at an eventual merger between the London and Tokyo markets.

"We are a very international business and we have good working relationships with a number of exchanges," the spokesman said.

The Japanese exchange will seal an official alliance with London when Tokyo Stock Exchange President Taizo Nishimura visits Britain later this month, Japan's Kyodo News reported.

The LSE's push for closer ties in Japan comes after the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Tokyo Stock Exchange last month revealed they had formed an alliance to develop financial products and promote mutual company listings.

Stock exchanges globally are moving towards closer consolidation, with the NYSE recently merging with the Euronext exchange, which operates the Paris, Amsterdam, and Brussels markets.

Prior to its successful defence against the Nasdaq's hostile bid, the LSE had been targeted for takeover by Euronext, Germany's Deutsche Boerse and Australia's Macquarie Bank.

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