German company aims to acquire NYSE - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

German company aims to acquire NYSE

NEW YORK (NBC) - Wall Street's most recognizable institution, the New York Stock Exchange, is the subject of high-level discussions that may result in it being acquired by a German company.

According to reports published in both the German and American financial press, Deutsche Borse, a Frankfurt-based stock exchange is seeking to take a 60 percent ownership interest in the New York Stock Exchange.

If this merger goes through, it would create the world's largest financial exchange. News of the deal sent New York stock Exchange and Deutsche Borse stock soaring Thursday.

If U.S. and European regulators sign off on the plan, the new parent company would have dual headquarters in Germany and America. The merger would not result in major layoffs in New York.

However, the ranks of face-to-face stock traders have already thinned considerably on Wall Street in recent years.

The merger rumblings were greeted positively by investors, largely because the deal with Deutsche Borse would give the New York Stock Exchange an instant presence in the lucrative derivatives markets.

Traditionalists in the stock business have expressed hesitation about that transition. Williams Higgins, a retired trader and owner of 70,000 shares of NYSE stock has his own opinion about the situation.

"The reason for the stock exchange was to raise capital for business," Higgins said. "These derivatives raise no capital. They're a new method of gambling."

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