Business

London Stock Exchange 'working hard' on Deutsche Boerse merger

lSE Image copyright Reuters

The London Stock Exchange has said it is continuing to "work hard" on its planned merger with Deutsche Boerse.

Earlier this week, the LSE said the deal could collapse as it was unlikely to get European Commission clearance.

The commission had ordered the LSE to sell its 60% stake in MTS, a fixed-income trading platform. The LSE had called the request "disproportionate".

The LSE's latest comments came as the exchange reported an increase in profits for 2016.

Excluding restructuring costs and businesses it has sold or closed, LSE said profit before tax rose to £623.1m for the year from £516.4m a year ago.

"The group has worked hard on our proposed merger with Deutsche Boerse, which received formal approval from both sets of shareholders," the firm said.

"The next milestone is expected to be the outcome of European Commission Phase II process on or before 3 April 2017."

On Sunday night, the LSE warned investors it would struggle to sell MTS and that such a sale would harm its business.

As a result, the LSE said: "Based on the commission's current position, LSE believes that the commission is unlikely to provide clearance for the merger."

The two rival exchanges announced plans for a "merger of equals" about a year ago, aiming to create a giant trading powerhouse that would be able to compete more effectively against US rivals.

They had already agreed to sell Clearnet, which is part of LSE's clearing business LCH, to satisfy competition concerns before the commission's surprise demand concerning MTS earlier this month.

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