The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is the frontrunner in the race to snap up Nasdaq's 31% stake in the London Stock Exchange (LSE), according to press reports.
QIA, which is a sovereign wealth agency owned and operated by the Qatari Government, is reported to have offered £2.8 billion for the stake, which was put up for sale by Nasdaq last month.
If the deal goes ahead QIA will become the LSE's largest shareholder, but the agency is not expected to launch a takeover bid for the UK market operator.
Nasdaq is thought to be keen to accept the Qatari offer in order to raise its bid for OMX. The US exchange is facing a bidding war with Borsa Dubai over control of Nordic and Baltic market operator. The Dubai exchange launched an unsolicited $3.98 billion bid for OMX last month, topping Nasdaq's agreed deal for the Stockholm-based company.