Qatar quits OMX bidding race

Swedish stock market operator OMX now looks set to complete its deal to be taken over by Nasdaq and Borse Dubai, after rival potential bidder Qatar Holding pulled out on Tuesday.

Finansinskpektionen (FI), Sweden’s financial services’ authority, announced on Tuesday that Qatar Holding had withdrawn its application for permission to buy up to 100 percent of the shares in the owner of the Stockholm Stock Exchange and other Nordic and Baltic market.

Shares in OMX fell following the announcement. At 2.15pm OMX shares were trading at 259 kronor on the Stockholm exchange, somewhat lower the 265 kronor value placed on them by the Nasdaq/Dubai bid.

Nasdaq and Borse Dubai agreed at the end of September to a complicated deal in which they would take joint control of OMX. The same day, Qatar Holding, which is owned by the Qatari state, announced that it had bought nearly 10 percent of shares in the Swedish company. The Qataris then announced that they had applied to FI for ownership assessment.

Qatar’s withdrawal means that Nasdaq and Dubai’s takeover of OMX is now likely to be completed in the spring, assuming no further suitors for the company emerge.