NYSE Group's global strategy requires it to be a force in "the three big currencies: the U.S. dollar, the euro and the Japanese yen," Nelson Chai, CFO, told analysts on a conference call this morning following the group's fourth-quarter 2006 financial results.
Regarding the European leg of the strategy, Mr. Chai said he expects the proposed merger with Dutch-incorporated Euronext to close toward "the end of the first quarter."
"This morning, the Dutch Minister of Finance announced his intention to grant an exchange license to the combined NYSE Euronext," he said. "This news is an additional step toward opening the tender offer to Euronext shareholders."
As for the Asian portion of NYSE's plan, Mr. Chai said: "We announced a strategic alliance with the Tokyo Stock Exchange. ... Several weeks ago, we announced plans to acquire a 5% equity interest in India's National Stock Exchange."
Mr. Chai emphasized the importance of Asia, due to the region's rapid development. NYSE recently received approval from the Chinese government to open an office in Beijing.
For the fourth quarter, NYSE Group reported net income of $45.5 million, or 29 cents a share, compared with a loss of $20.3 million or 18 cents a share, in the fourth quarter 2005. The NYSE acquired Archipelago Holdings, the parent of the ArcaEx exchange, in the first quarter of 2005.