OMX deal ‘set for February launch’

Borse Dubai and Nasdaq's public offer for Nordic stock exchange operator OMX should be launched in January, OMX chief executive Magnus Böcker said on Wednesday.

The cash offer of 265 kronor per share values OMX at some 32 billion kronor ($4.9 billion).

OMX operates exchanges in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Reykjavik, Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius.

Böcker, announcing third quarter results, said the offer should close in late February.

The company reported a net profit of 223 million kronor for the three months to September, up 34.4 percent from a year earlier, as revenues rose 22.6 percent to 1.00 billion kronor.

“The third quarter was yet another strong quarter for OMX,” the company said in a statement.

In late September Borse Dubai and Nasdaq, then rivals to take over OMX, said they had joined forces to acquire it together in a deal that gives Borse Dubai 19.99 percent of US-based Nasdaq and 28 percent of the London Stock Exchange.

In a complex takeover proposal that ended months of speculation over OMX’s fate, the groups said Borse Dubai of the United Arab Emirates would follow through on its previously announced 230 kronor per share offer for OMX. The August 17 bid valued the group at $3.97 billion.

The US-based Nasdaq stock market would then acquire all of Borse Dubai’s OMX shares.

Then on September 26 they said they had sweetened their takeover offer and had secured 47.6 percent of its shares.


Stockholm stock market hits new all-time high

The Stockholm stock exchange closed at a record high on Wednesday, with the OMXS index climbing 1.4 percent to smash the previous record set in 2007.

Stockholm stock market hits new all-time high

The OMXS closed at 430.6, besting by more than three points the previous record of 427.2 set in July 2007.

"Finally, after more than five years, we've come up to the all-time high," Nordea stock strategist Martin Guri told the TT news agency.

The Stockholm stock market's advanced was in line with developments on other exchanges around the world, and can be attributed to a new World Bank forecast indicting advances in global economic growth. Strong retail sales statistics from the United States helped as well.

Guri rejected any notion that the Stockholm exchange's recent rise was any sort of bubble, but is simply a continuation of a strong 2013.

"We had the worst financial and economic crisis since the 1930s. Now we can say that we've left it behind and are moving on to the next chapter," he said.

"The market could rise somewhere between ten and 20 percent this year."

He added that there are many signs of economic improvements, and while economic growth may not be strong, risks have deteriorated, bolstering investor confidence. 

Guri cited central banks in the US, Japan, and the eurozone for stimulating stock market growth.

"They've promised financial markets they plan to keep interest rates low," he said.

Wednesday's OMXS rise was led by heavyweights such as retailer H&M and bank Nordea, which climbed 2.7 percent and three percent, respectively, as the Swedish fashion retailer reported better than expected sales results for December.

Other market winners on Wednesday included pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, telecom equipment maker Ericsson, and truck maker Scania, all of which rose by around two percent.

The Swedish krona weakened slightly against the dollar, which can now buy 6.48 kronor. The krona-euro exchange rate remain unchanged, at 8.80 kronor to the euro.