Nasdaq chief scuttles LSE bid talk; Nyse takes bullish stance

Nasdaq chief scuttles LSE bid talk; Nyse takes bullish stance

Nasdaq chief executive Robert Greifeld has moved to scotch reports that the US tech market is planning a bid for the London Stock Exchange, causing the LSE share price to drift back down below the 700 pence mark.

Greifeld's comments, made on the sidelines of the Davos economic forum, contrasted with those of John Thain, head of the rival New York Stock Exchange, who told reporters that Nyse was preparing to play a leadership role in exchange consolidation, especially in Europe.

"We will be well positioned to participate in the consolidation that I think is going to take place, both in the US and globally, particularly I think in Europe," Thain said.

Thain said any moves would take place after the exchange has completed the acquisition and integration of the Archipelago ECN.

Nasdaq likewise is working to reap the benefits of integration from its own recent takeover of the Inet ECN. Greifeld said the company is expending all its energies to move its business to the Inet system by December. The effort will lead to further job losses as the merged group moves to meet its target of cutting costs by at least 16 percent by 2007 and paying down its debt.

Reuters reported yesterday that Nasdaq may yet make a bid for interdealer broker Icap, citing an unidentified person close to the situation.

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