CORRECTED-DEALTALK-Exchange leaders to size each other up in Boca Raton

Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:32am EDT
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(Corrects paragraph 12 to say HKEx, not LSE, bought LME)

By John McCrank

NEW YORK, March 14 (Reuters) - When top derivatives exchange executives gather in Boca Raton, Florida, this week for a major industry conference, the buzz will be around who is meeting whom in hotel rooms and lobbies as bourses scramble to find partners amid global consolidation.

Waves of exchange tie-ups and attempted takeovers have happened every two or three years since exchanges began to go public in the 1990s, and this year has not disappointed.

Deutsche Boerse said late last month it may merge with the London Stock Exchange in a deal that would help it compete against larger rivals CME Group, Hong Kong Exchange and Intercontinental Exchange.

Deutsche Boerse Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter has said he has alternatives if the LSE deal fails.

As merger talks heat up, no one wants to get left behind in a business where scale, and geographical and cross-asset reach, can greatly improve profit margins.

"If the LSE-Deutsche Boerse talks were the start of the conversation, we've probably got another few more shoes that are going to drop in the next six months," said an executive from one exchange who declined to speak on the record because of the sensitive nature of deal talks.

An executive from another exchange said to expect two to three more deal announcements before the end of the year.   Continued...