In a move that could secure the future of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), Borse Dubai and the Qatari Investment Authority (QIA) are reported to be in talks regarding a possible swap deal involving their respective shareholdings in LSE and OMX.
According to a report by UK newspaper The Times, QIA is looking to exchange its 10% shareholding in OMX for a large part of Borse Dubai's stake in the LSE.
State-run Dubai holds a 28% stake in the LSE after buying part of Nasdaq's shareholding in the UK market operator earlier this year. It is thought a swap deal would involve the exchange passing a 14% stake in LSE to QIA.
If the deal goes through the Qataris - who are closely allied with LSE chief executive Clara Furse - would end up with a 29.9% stake in the LSE, which would prevent any other party from launching a successful takeover bid for the London market, says the report.
According to a Reuters report, which cites people familiar with the matter, the talks between QIA and Dubai are "still very preliminary" and could yet fall through or change.
But news of the deal comes after Borse Dubai and Nasdaq disclosed details of an improved takeover offer for OMX last month and moved to boost their shareholdings in the business after QIA started buying up stock in the Nordic and Baltic market operator.