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OMX- Dubai Reps Meet

Representatives from Sweden's OMX AB and the Dubai stock exchange were expected to meet Monday about a major stock purchase last week by Dubai that could set up a bidding showdown with the Nasdaq Stock Market for the Nordic stock exchange operator.

OMX spokeswoman Heidi Wendt said representatives for OMX, including its Chief Executive Magnus Bocker and Chairman Urban Backstrom, and Borse Dubai were meeting in Stockholm on Monday, but declined to give details on when or what would be discussed.

"This is a meeting on their request. I can't give more details," she said.

The Swedish government, which is the second-largest shareholder in OMX with a 6.6 percent stake as of June 29, said it met with Borse Dubai representatives Monday, but there was no bid.

"If such is presented, the government will review it," Karin Forseke, the government's adviser, said in a statement.

Investor AB, OMX's largest shareholder with 10.7 percent, declined comment.

"We will meet them in the near future, but I won't answer on exactly when or where that will happen," Investor spokesman Fredrik Lindgren said.

Borse Dubai, owner of the Dubai stock exchange, said Thursday it had bought a 4.9 percent stake in OMX, worth 230 kronor ($34) per share, and that it had entered option agreements to raise its stake in OMX to 27.4 percent at the same price.

The announcement surprised Stockholm-based OMX, which said it had not received any further information about Borse Dubai's intentions and had received no offer besides that of Nasdaq, which made a bid for OMX in May.

OMX shares jumped 6.7 percent Thursday on news of the investment. On Monday, they closed up 2 percent to 234 kronor ($34.40).

Nasdaq last week urged OMX shareholders "to take no action with respect to the conditional offer by Dubai for a minority stake in OMX."

Nasdaq, which earlier this year lost its bid for the London Stock Exchange, offered 208.1 kronor ($30.90) per share, to be paid in cash and shares. The offer, which is dependent on Nasdaq's share price and the Swedish exchange rate, has since dropped to around 203.5 kronor ($30) per share.

Nasdaq declined to comment on the talks between Dubai and OMX, saying it stands by its previous statements, which also included remaining "fully committed to its recommended offer for 100 percent of OMX."

Bo Albertsson at Hill & Knowlton, a spokesman for Borse Dubai, said representatives including Per Larsson -- the chief executive of the Dubai International Financial Exchange and the former chief of the Stockholm-based bourse -- would be present in Stockholm.

Larsson left OMX in 2003 after helping the Swedish stock exchange begin its takeover of exchanges in Finland, Estonia and Latvia. The company also launched an unsuccessful bid for the London exchange in 2000. source-boston.com



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