Paris Bourse eyes tie-up with the New York Stock Exchange

Jean-Francois Theodore, chairman of the Paris Bourse is understood to be seeking a deal with the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to avoid being marginalised by last week's merger deal between the London and Frankfurt stock exchanges.

Mr Theodore is expected to seek urgent talks with his opposite number, Richard Grasso, to discuss the implications of last week's iX deal, which came hard on the heels of the formation of Euronext, grouping the Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam exchanges.

Mr Grasso, the NYSE chairman and chief executive, has so far stood aloof from attempts to forge global exchange alliances although there have been several abortive discussions with US regulators about various combinations between the NYSE and Nasdaq, the US technology exchange.

Observers said yesterday that with Nasdaq having thrown in its lot with iX, New York may have to rethink its strategy.

A spokesman for the Paris Bourse said yesterday: "In the stock exchange world everyone is talking to everyone." The NYSE did not return calls.

Mr Theodore has made overtures to OM, the Nordic exchange, and Liffe, the London derivatives market, as well as the LSE and Frankfurt, which rebuffed his efforts to include Euronext in the iX deal.

The LSE was meanwhile plotting its fightback against attempts by small retail brokers to derail the merger. Senior exchange figures are hoping figures showing that the value of LSE shareholdings will double will help convince smaller brokers to set aside worries about the euro and focus instead on the windfall profits they will make as a result of the deal.

The European Commission said yesterday it would not be looking at the iX deal since the merger fell below the minimum 5bn euro turnover threshold for vetting cross-border deals.

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