The London Stock Exchange Group is considering making a takeover bid for Nasdaq OMX Group later this year, the Sunday Times reported, continuing the rapid consolidation of the world's major stock markets.
The possible offer for Nasdaq follows the London Exchanges announcement last month of plans to merge with Toronto's TMX Group.
The paper said there have been no talks about a tie-up between the London, Toronto and Nasdaq that the LSE plans to make a move later in the year for Nasdaq.
The LSE told CNBC Sunday that "we would never comment on speculation."
Last month, a source told CNBC that Nasdaq is reassessing its strategy following the NYSE Euronext/Deutsche Boerse merger, and it won't "sit on the sidelines" amid the latest round of consolidation.
Speculation has been rampant as to what steps the Nasdaq may take to remain competitive in the global exchange landscape, including one idea that it could join forces with the CME Group and make a counter-bid for the NYSE.
Analysts dismiss such a deal as too expensive. There is also speculation that the Nasdaq could be the first U.S. stock exchange to strike a major partnership with an Asian partner.
Analysts say the most likely Asian partners are the Hong Kong Stock Exchange or the Singapore Stock Exchange, which is engaged in a plan of its own to merge with ASX, the Australian exchange.
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