Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. may be considering buying the Prague Stock Exchange, a move that would give the trans-Atlantic group a foothold in central Europe, an industry source said.
The acquisition would fit within Nasdaq's global strategy as the New York-based group introduced on Sept. 26 a single pricing for all of its markets in the U.S. and Europe, the first exchange to harmonize trading fees across borders.
We are halfway through the (sale) process, which is handled by Goldman Sachs (Group Inc.) in London. I have no further information, said Jiri Kovarik, a spokesman for the Prague exchange, which was put on the auction block by its largest shareholders in August.
Nasdaq spokeswoman Silvia Davi declined to comment.
The industry source said Prague would give Nasdaq OMX a presence in central Europe and its expanding markets. OMX already owns seven northern European exchanges plus the Armenian Stock Exchange, and has a 10% stake in the Oslo Stock Exchange all of which trade on the same platform.
Nasdaq's main rival for the PSE would be the Vienna Stock Exchange, which already owns one-third of the Budapest Stock Exchange and is seeking to play a role in central Europe similar to OMX's in northern Europe. The Warsaw Stock Exchange, the largest market in the region, is also regarded as a potential bidder. Isabelle Clary