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Exchanges: Balkan bourse M&A activity hots ups

OMX bids for Slovenian stock exchange.

Nasdaq’s multi-billion dollar takeover battle for the London Stock Exchange is grabbing the financial headlines in the UK but in the former Yugoslavia the focus is firmly on OMX’s rather more modest bid for control of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange (LJSE) in Slovenia.

OMX, the Stockholm-headquartered exchange and technology company that operates seven bourses in the Nordic and Baltic region under the Nordic Exchange marketing banner, is looking to move into uncharted territory with a bid of €125.19 per LJSE share, which would value the Slovenian bourse at about €4.2 million. The LJSE is owned by 31 different financial institutions.

“We believe that acquiring the Ljubljana Stock Exchange is a great opportunity for us and that OMX will enhance the efficiency, liquidity and visibility of the Slovenian capital market,” says Hans-Ole Jochumsen, president of business information services and new markets at OMX. “Our experience of developing the Nordic and Baltic markets provides us with a strong platform from which to expand our business in eastern Europe.”

Previously, the group’s exchange activities had been focused solely on northern Europe, where it runs the bourses in Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden as well as those in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

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