Reuters has confirmed that it is in a competitive tendering process for a "significant contract" with Merrill Lynch to supply it with a range of products and services.
In July, Merrill Lynch went public on its plans to outsource its entire data and transactions system for private client stockbroking in a deal estimated to be worth at least $1 billion over five years.
At the time, Reuters, Bloomberg and Thomson ILX were in the frame for the contract, which is believed to involve more than 27,000 computer terminals along with data supply, system maintenance and software systems.
Reuters shares gained 4.7% on Monday on the back of a Financial Mail on Sunday report that the firm was close to sealing the Merrill Lynch contract.
In a brief statement posted on its Web site, Reuters says: "The outcome of this tender has not been confirmed and discussions continue."