Wayne Swan MP has ruled that the SGX bid for ASX Ltd was “not in the national interest”. In his statement, released on 8th April 2011, the Treasurer and Deputy Australian Prime Minister cited overstated benefits balanced against a loss of sovereignty over essential Australian business as a reason to block the proposed merger of the Singaporean and Australian exchanges.
The door was left open for future proposals, however:
Subject to regulatory reform, I do not in principle oppose commercial arrangements involving the ASX and a global exchange that would:
- Protect the integrity of Australia’s financial architecture and regulatory framework;
- Build Australia’s standing as a significant financial services centre in Asia;
- Increase Australia’s integration into global capital markets and exchange networks;
- Meaningfully boost access to capital for Australian businesses;
- Support growth in high quality financial services jobs in Australia; and
- Be consistent with increased competition between financial exchanges in Australia.
SGX said in a statement that it would continue to pursue organic and other forms of growth as well as other methods of co-operation with the ASX.