Singapore Exchange Ltd.'s proposed takeover of main stock market operator ASX Ltd. has been rejected by the Australian government, which said the 8.4 billion Australian dollar (US$8.78 billion) deal is not in Australia's national interest, reports the Wall Street Journal.
"The deal doesn't stack up, whatever yardstick you use. This is not a merger, it's a takeover that would see Australia's financial sector become a subsidiary to a competitor in Asia," Treasurer Wayne Swan told the newspaper.
SGX has said that both the Singapore and Australian exchanges maintain the belief "that the merger proposal would result in significant benefits for Australia and Singapore, market users and the shareholders of SGX and ASX."
The response on the ASX-SGX bid came within the statutory 30-day consultation period, raising concerns over political interference, which Swan categorically rejected, notes the Journal.
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