Australia set to block ASX takeover | FT Alphaville

Australia set to block ASX takeover

The Australian government on Tuesday effectively killed off the Singapore Exchange’s planned A$8.4bn ($8.7bn) takeover of its Australian counterpart after Wayne Swan, the country’s treasurer, said he was “disposed” to reject the deal as not in the national interest, reports the FT. Although Swan stressed his view was preliminary, he startled the market by revealing his position before the end of a standard 30-day review period by the country’s foreign investment regulator. A successful takeover would have created Asia’s second-largest exchange by number of listings, behind the Bombay exchange but ahead of Tokyo and Hong Kong. The Singapore Exchange said it had been invited to provide further comments to Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, but  people close to the exchange said Canberra had made its position clear. Perhaps, says Lex, the deal was fantasy in the first place. The WSJ’s Heard column says Swan’s position risks turning foreign investors away from the resource-rich nation.