LSE, finally forced to look east? | FT Alphaville

LSE, finally forced to look east?

After a day of roiling rumours, James Quinn and Ben Harrington at the Telegraph told us on Thursday that Singapore Exchange is in merger takeover talks with the London Stock Exchange.

While the tale includes the usual escape chutes (“banking sources indicated that any form of formal offer is still some time away,” etc) the idea has a clear ring of truth to it. Maybe. The talks are said to have grown out of discussions on the large cap cross-trading agreement between London and Singapore, unveiled just a week ago.

On one level it would be weird if there hadn’t been occasional talks between these two, given the near-constant talk of consolidation in this sector.

And even if the LSE and Singapore did try to strike agreement, we would still be a number of steps away from a done deal. For example, just because HKEx is busy finalising its takeover of the LME doesn’t mean that the leading Eastern equities exchange is not itself interested in the LSE.

Earlier on Wednesday, we got news that current trading at the LSE is very much as expected — i.e. tough, but not worryingly so.

Meanwhile, on the Singapore front, we await a clarifying statement.