New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Thursday he supports advanced talks that would place the iconic New York Stock Exchange into the hands of Germany's Deutsche Boerse AG.
NYSE Euronext, parent company of New York's Big Board, said on Wednesday it was in advanced merger talks with the bigger, Frankfurt-based exchanges company. News of that deal came one day after the London Stock Exchange announced it was buying Canada's TMX Group.
Bloomberg, who was a Salomon Brothers equities trader before making his fortune through media company Bloomberg LP, said the deal will help keep New York's marketplace competitive globally.
I think it's very good for New York to have two of the strongest exchanges together. It's going to give us access to Europe, and the Europeans access to the States in a way that our competitors, like London, will not have, Bloomberg said in a press conference in New York.
The LSE's purchase of the Toronto stock market operator would make it the world's fourth-largest exchanges company with annual stock-trading volume of $4.1 trillion. That deal would be dwarfed by Deutsche Boerse-NYSE, which would have annual trading volume exceeding $20 trillion.
London has the problem now, as it has to find a way to become as strong as the New York and German stock exchanges, he said, citing the latest wave of consolidation.
An NYSE-Deutsche deal faces scrutiny from German regulators and European antitrust officials, but so far the response from the United States has been nil. Bloomberg is the first major U.S. public figure to speak publicly on the potential sale of the NYSE, a 218-year old symbol of American capitalism.
The combined group would have headquarters in New York and Frankfurt, with Deutsche Boerse shareholders holding about 60 percent of the combined company.
The stronger the New York Stock Exchange is globally, the better for us, he said. If the New York Stock Exchange didn't form a partnership like this, it could have been frozen out.
(Reporting by David Sheppard, writing by Joseph A. Giannone; Additional reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Gerald E. McCormick)