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商业 - 金融

纽交所缘何只能下嫁洲际交易所

Cyrus Sanati 2012年12月24日

两家交易所的业务没有重叠,洲际交易所既没有美国股票交易平台,在欧洲衍生产品市场上的份额也不大。因此,两者的合并不会遭遇监管方面的障碍。

    乍看上去,设在亚特兰大的美国洲际交易所(InterContinental Exchange)斥资82亿美元收购纽约证券交易所(NYSE)是要建立一个业务范围宽广的全国性交易所,从而确保华尔街在金融领域的主导地位。两家交易所合并而成的金融交易超市可能让交易者的生活变得更加轻松,但在投资者看来这笔交易并不怎么合理,特别是美国洲际交易所的投资者,因为它要付出可观的溢价才能收购纽约证券交易所。

    其实不然,这笔交易更多地是要对纽交所进行分解。听上去有些可悲,但将纽交所分而售之的价值要远远超过整体转让。洲际交易所很可能保留纽交所的欧洲衍生产品业务,即NYSE Liffe,但很可能把其他业务,包括纽交所标志性的交易大厅,通过一系列转让和拆分出售给报价最高的买家。

    纽交所摆出待售姿态已经有很长一段时间了。几乎从上任第一天起,纽交所首席执行官邓肯•尼德奥尔就一直在谋划将公司出售变现。如果不是2008年市场暴跌,现在尼德奥尔或许就已经敲定了这笔交易。但阻碍他的并非只有市场,美国政府对此也持反对意见,从某种程度上说,美国金融业也是如此。

    去年,德尼奥尔计划把纽交所这个美国金融业的标志性机构转让给德意志交易所(Deutsche Borse)。如果如愿,合并后交易所的业务将横跨大西洋两岸,价值可能高达100亿美元。但欧洲监管部门将这项宏大计划拒之门外,原因和交易涉及的股票交易业务无关,而是因为合并后的交易所实际上将垄断欧洲的衍生产品市场。虽然了解这一点的人不多,但实际上这正是问题的关键所在。当时衍生产品交易费用占纽交所净收入总额的三分之一,占利润的40%,而此类费用大多来自设在欧洲的Liffe衍生产品交易平台。受新兴交易所和暗池影响,纽交所股票业务的利润率逐年下降。与之不同的是,衍生产品业务对新兴交易所尚有一定的抵御能力。实际上,Liffe在欧洲的真正对手只有欧洲期货交易所(Eurex),而德意志交易所恰恰持有Eurex一半股权。

    合并起来的NYSE Liffe和欧洲期货交易所(Eurex)可能会成为一座金矿,因为二者合并之后将基本上垄断欧洲的衍生产品交易和清算。敏锐地察觉到这样的合并绝不会获得欧洲监管机构批准后,纳斯达克证券交易所(Nasdaq)和洲际交易所联合向纽交所提出了收购。纳斯达克的目标是纽交所的股票交易业务,洲际交易所要的则是衍生产品业务。但德尼奥尔当时一心要和德意志交易所完成这项精心谋划的交易,甚至都没有和纳斯达克方面进行接触。

    The proposed acquisition of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by the Atlanta-based InterContinental Exchange (ICE) at first blush appears to create a national exchange with broad reach, ensuring Wall Street's dominance in the financial world. But while the financial exchange supermarket that the two would create would make life easier for traders, it doesn't make much sense for investors, especially for ICE investors who will plunk down a sizable premium for the $8.2 billion acquisition.

    No, today's deal is more about running the Big Board through the chopping block. It's sad to say, but the NYSE is worth much more sliced up than it's worth as a whole. ICE is most likely going to keep the NYSE's European derivatives business, NYSE Liffe, and jettison the rest in a combination of sales and spin offs, including the iconic "floor" of the exchange, to the highest bidder.

    The NYSE (NYX) has had a "For Sale" sign on its door for a very long time. Duncan Niederauer, the chief executive of the NYSE, had been trying to cook up some sort of deal to sell the company and cash in almost since his first day on the job. If it wasn't for the market tumult of 2008, he would have probably sealed the deal by now. But it wasn't just the markets that were against him. So was Washington, and to a certain extent, Wall Street.

    His plan to sell the iconic NYSE outright to Germany's Deutsche Borse last year would have created a $10 billion transatlantic trading titan. But European regulators balked at such an ambitious deal. Not for the equity trading part of the deal, but because it would give the combined company a virtual monopoly in the European derivatives space. While that might seem like an esoteric part of the deal, it was actually the entire point of it. At the time, fees from derivatives trading comprised a third of the NYSE's total net revenue and 40% of its profits. Much of that came from its NYSE's Liffe derivatives platform based in Europe. Unlike with equities, where margins have eroded over the years due to new entrants and dark pools, derivatives still had a bit of protection from new upstarts. Indeed, Liffe's only real competition in Europe was Eurex, which was half-owned by Deutsche Borse.

    Meshing Liffe and Eurex together would have been a gold mine as it would have given the combined company almost total dominance in trading and clearing European derivatives. Keenly sensing that such a deal would never pass regulatory muster in Europe, the Nasdaq (NDAQ) and ICE (IWEB) proposed a joint takeover deal for the NYSE. The Nasdaq would get the NYSE's equity trading and listing business and ICE would get the NYSE's derivatives business. Niederauer wouldn't even talk with the American interlopers, though, hoping to seal the carefully crafted deal he had put together with Deutsche Borse.

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