LSE hails "excellent" trading performance


Trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is set to remain "excellent" throughout the whole of 2006, the LSE has said.

Releasing a routine update for shareholders, the LSE revealed that the number of transactions taking place across its exchange continues to grow in volume.

Total new issue activity was up 100 per cent during the six months ending tomorrow, while the number of daily transactions passing through SETS, its transfer system, grew by 58 per cent to 315,000.

"The very strong trading performance seen in the first quarter of the financial year has continued over the summer," Clara Furse, chief executive of the LSE, said.

"The exchange is thriving as we create increasing value from our world class brand, numerous growth opportunities in the market, and from our new and exceptionally fast technology, against a backdrop of declining costs.

"The strategic value arising from our market position and the continuation of very strong growth in our core business reinforce our expectation of an excellent trading performance this financial year."

LSE's strong trading performance has made it an attractive prospect for foreign investors. A series of takeover bids from overseas exchanges have been lodged in the last year and a half, with pan-European bourse Euronext, Deutsche Boerse and the New York Stock Exchange all attempting to seize control of the LSE.

The most serious contender, however, has been the US-based Nasdaq exchange, which bid £2.4 billion for the LSE in March but had its advances rejected.

Takeover guidelines have prevented a higher offer in the intervening months, but the ban on a further bid runs out next week, giving Nasdaq the chance to bid again for the attractive London exchange.

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