The newspaper said London Stock Exchange (LSE) chief executive Clara Furse is understood to have met her opposite number, Magnus Bocker, president and chief executive of OM Gruppen, to discuss a range of potential tie-ups.
It said it is thought that the talks, in which OM was advised by CSFB, the investment bank, were exploratory and no firm commitments have been made by either side.
In August Australia’s Macquarie Bank Ltd said it was considering making a formal approach to the LSE. The Paris-based exchange Euronext SA is also lining-up a bid, while Germany’s Deutsche Borse AG was forced by shareholders to drop its planned offer.
However, there is unlikely to be any major progress until the completion of a UK Competition Commission report into the implications of a takeover of the LSE.