Nasdaq takes Clearstream’s lead in Europe
Clearstream, an international bond clearing house, has stolen the limelight from the exchanges. This month it is expected to decide whether to merge with Euroclear or submit to a takeover by Deutsche Börse.
A merger between Clearstream and Euroclear could act as a catalyst for the centralization of clearing networks across Europe, which would be a huge cost saving for banks that should be passed on to their clients. The consolidation of Euroclear and Clearstream would leave the way open for further consolidation among the exchanges.
The European exchanges have been very active lately and things are warming up. The London Stock Exchange put up a fight for London futures and options exchange Liffe, only to lose out to Euronext, an exchange formed just last year. Now LSE is considering the possibility of an alliance with a derivatives player.
All this talk of consolidation in Europe raises the idea of an international exchange, with common trading platforms and cooperative clearing and settlement operations. Nasdaq appears to be taking a run at it, having announced its desire to merge with one of the three leading European exchanges.
A partnership between Nasdaq Europe and the Berlin stock exchange has since been announced.