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Dubai says no Nasdaq stake sale

nasdaq1Borse Dubai ruled out any sale of its shares in Nasdaq OMX Group on Thursday after shedding its entire 17.4 percent stake in the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The firm had been the biggest single shareholder in the LSE prior to the sale, which occurred on Wednesday through a so-called book building process which a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday happened at 22.50 pounds a share.

This would equate to a total sale worth 1.36 billion pounds ($2 billion), according to Reuters calculations. Shares in LSE fell sharply as a result, down 10 percent to 22.83 pounds by 0910 GMT.

Borse Dubai, the holding company for Dubai Financial Market and Nasdaq Dubai, confirmed on Thursday it had sold its LSE stake without disclosing the price.

In a separate response to questions from Reuters, a Borse Dubai spokesman said it had “no current intention” to sell its stake in the United States financial services firm that owns Nasdaq and multiple European stock exchanges.

Borse Dubai is the largest shareholder in Nasdaq OMX, owning 17.64 percent of the company, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Borse Dubai sold its LSE stake as the share price was at an all-time high and it was the “appropriate time to monetise” its investment, the spokesman told Reuters in an emailed response to questions.

It became a major shareholder in Nasdaq in a complex deal in 2007, also buying a 28 percent stake in the LSE from Nasdaq for 1,414 pence per share.

The proceeds from the stake sale would be used for general business purposes, he added.

The LSE stake sale was managed by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Nomura International, a Borse Dubai said.

Borse Dubai previously sold a chunk of its LSE stake in September 2014, representing around 3.1 percent of the company’s issued capital.

It said then that it had “no current intention to sell any further shares” and it remained “a long-term supportive shareholder”.-Reuters