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Singapore Exchange May Buy Stakes in Other Bourses

Singapore Exchange, Asia's second-largest listed bourse operator, said on Friday it may acquire small stakes in other stock market operators or allow them to take stakes in it.

SGX Chairman J.Y. Pillay said the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which bought a 4.99% stake in SGX in June, had expressed its interest to raise that shareholding, although Pillay did not say by how much.

"In order to achieve fundamental objectives, if we have to take small stakes in other exchanges or vice versa, we will do so," Pillay told reporters on the sidelines of the group's shareholders meeting.

SGX's share price has more than doubled this year as global stock markets soared and amid increasing speculation that it may become a takeover target as exchanges seek mergers and acquisitions.

The stock climbed 17% on Monday but SGX said then that it had no explanation for the price jump, which market participants attributed to speculation that the bourse operator could be subject to a takeover bid.

In March, SGX acquired a 5% stake in India's Bombay Stock Exchange for US$42.7 million, its first foreign acquisition.