Temasek furious over LSE rumours

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The Independent Online

Temasek, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, issued an extraordinary attack on "certain market players" involved in the sale of Nasdaq's 31 per cent stake in the London Stock Exchange, which is being auctioned by UBS and JP Morgan.

In a short release, Temasek said that it "had not at any time made any offer, nor participated in any bidding" for the New York bourse's holding in the London exchange. Temasek was heavily rumoured to have been interested in buying the holding. The Singapore fund, however, took exception to the use of its name in what it saw as nothing more than a tactic to create competitive tension for Nasdaq's holding. In a rebuke, Temasek did not name any one party but said: "We are extremely disappointed that certain market players have chosen to use Temasek's name in such an unprofessional manner.".

It is understood that Temasek did not seek out the deal but rather was approached unsolicited about bidding for the stake.

Soon afterward its possible interest in the LSE holding appeared in the press. While names of possible bidders are often leaked to the press by various parties in order to ratchet up the price, Temasek took exception.

A source close to Temasek said: "They were very upset about this situation. They were particularly concerned that it seemed to be becoming more prevalent and felt that someone had to put their foot down."

Meanwhile, The Qatar Investment Authority could secure the LSE stake as soon as this week after it is understood to have submitted a bid last week. LSE chief executive Clara Furse, who is being consulted on the process, is understood to prefer that the New York bourse's holding be placed in the market, rather than being sold to a single buyer.

However, if the latter occurs the Qatar Investment Authority is seen as the most welcome bidder because it is not a direct competitor and is expected to be a supportive shareholder.