German lawmaker warns U.S. exchanges against Deutsche Boerse bids

Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:33am EDT
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By Anjuli Davies and Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. stock exchanges should not attempt to buy Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE: Quote), the German exchange whose bid to merge with its London counterpart has just collapsed, a senior German politician said on Thursday.

"Deutsche Boerse is not only a private company but it also has state responsibilities," Thomas Schaefer, finance minister for the German state of Hesse, told reporters.

"The stock exchange authorities of Germany have to guarantee that if there is a change of owner, it has to guarantee that business has to continue uninterrupted as normal and it doesn't matter who makes an offer," Schaefer said.

Asked what his response would be if a U.S. exchange like ICE (ICE.N: Quote) stepped in to bid for Deutsche Boerse, Schaefer replied: "I would rather recommend colleagues in America not to attempt to do this."

Hesse regulates the financial center in Frankfurt where Deutsche Boerse is based, and also has a veto over any merger involving the exchange.

The European Commission on Wednesday vetoed a planned tie up between Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE.L: Quote), saying it would have reduced competition in fixed income markets.

In 2012, Brussels also vetoed a merger between Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext, the U.S. exchange which ICE later acquired.

The collapse of the latest merger effort has triggered speculation of fresh attempts at consolidation among exchanges, with Singapore Exchanges (SGXL.SI: Quote) looking at tie-ups abroad, according to media reports on Thursday.   Continued...

The plaque of the Deutsche Boerse AG is pictured at the entrance of the Frankfurt stock exchange February 1, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski/File Photo