Exchanges Jilted at the Altar

Article excerpt

Byline: COMMENT by ALEX BRUMMERCity Editor

AS IN almost every other field of human endeavour technology has transformed the way shares are traded.

We may yearn for the nostalgia of the floor trading on the New York Stock Exchange, but it is largely a thing of the past.

Nevertheless, the bourse is an essential bit of kit for any financial centre of worth.

It would be only too easy to mock the emergence of the Canadian Maple Group bid for the Toronto exchange - as an alternative to a merger with the London Stock Exchange - as a form of protectionism.

Similarly, the reservations on the floor of the Big Board about getting into bed with Deutsche Boerse might be dismissed as anti-German sentiment.

The reality is that America's raw capitalism and the German socialeconomic models are vastly different.

In the last 48 hours we have seen Maple intrude on the LSE-Toronto natural resources love-in and the Department of Justice object to the Nasdaq-ICE offer for NYSE Euronext. The market assumption is that Nasdaq, in the shape of Bob Greifeld, will come after the LSE again.

It will be fascinating to see how Xavier Rolet, the current chief executive, reacts.

The LSE under Dame Clara Furse was resolute in challenging foreign takeovers.

She instinctively recognised that after 350-years of share trading in the City, the LSE should not give up its independence easily. …