Australia’s Treasurer Wayne Swan on Monday dismissed reports that
the proposed A$8.4-billion (about S$10.6 billion) merger between the
Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and Singapore Exchange (SGX)
is likely to be rejected.
In October last year, ASX and SGX announced plans to create one of
the world’s largest listed exchange groups with a broad international
However, the proposal has faced political obstacles in Australia
due to concerns over issues such as the extent of foreign ownership.
The Australian Financial Review cited government sources on
Monday predicting the deal would not pass through parliament
after the proposal was submitted to Australia’s Foreign Investment
Review Board (FIRB) on March 11.
However, Swan dismissed such reports, telling ABC Radio he
had “no idea” where they came from.
He was quoted as saying that his decision would be based on
the FIRB’s recommendation, a thorough consideration of all
issues concerned, and national interest.
A key issue is whether to lift the 15-per cent cap on foreign
ownership for ASX.
In a bid to overcome the political obstacles, the exchanges
adjusted their merger proposal last month, promising an equal
number of directors from each country on the proposed ASXSGX
Additionally, both sides pledged that all physical assets required
for the operation of ASX’s businesses would continue to be
developed and located in Australia. They also agreed to develop