Nasdaq OMX Group Inc confirmed on Friday it made a bid for a minority stake in Europe's LCH.Clearnet, according to media reports, as the U.S.-based exchange attempts to secure a piece of the lucrative clearing business.
Chief Executive Robert Greifeld, talking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Athens, said the Nasdaq Stock Market parent hoped the bid would be successful, and endorsed the horizontal clearing model in which an entity acts as central counterparty to trades done on separate venues.
Clearinghouses, which guarantee traders' obligations in case of a default, are increasingly important as world governments push much of the vast over-the-counter derivatives market through such entities.
LCH.Clearnet, Europe's largest independent clearinghouse, confirmed last month it had received various offers. Nasdaq rival NYSE Euronext said it had made a bid jointly with bank-owned data provider Markit.
Sources had previously said Nasdaq and London Stock Exchange Group Plc also had made offers, though the British bourse subsequently said it was not in talks.
LCH.Clearnet declined to comment on Friday, and a Nasdaq spokesman had no immediate comment.
(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer, additional reporting by Luke Jeffs in London, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)