Amid mounting speculation over a possible merger between the Sydney Futures Exchange (SFE) and the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), the SFE has admitted that it did make an approach to the ASX which has been rebuffed.
Following newspaper reports about efforts by the SFE to be acquired by ASX, the Sydney stock market operator issued a statement on Monday saying that no discussions were taking place or on the agenda.
ASX insists that the company has "moved on" after the 1999 consideration of an acquisition of SFE. "ASX is now fully occupied pursuing its existing strategy, which does not include acqusition of SFE," the exchange states.
The SFE has confirmed the ASX's statement, but reiterates its view that a merger would "enhance the value to shareholders of both organisations, reduce costs for customers and be in the national interest".
The SFE board says such a move would address not only the market efficiencies associated with merging the two organisations but also opportunities presented by adopting the structure that other exchanges in the region - notably Hong Kong and Singapore - have adopted.