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SGX and Baltic Exchange extend exclusive discussions for another two months

SGX and Baltic Exchange extend exclusive discussions for another two months
Exclusive discussions over the sale of Baltic Exchange to the Singapore Exchange (SGX) have been extended by up to another two months.

The original exclusive discussion period that was from 25 May to 30 June, and the Baltic this was now extended from 30 June to 31 August.

“Over the past weeks the Baltic Exchange and SGX have together met with Baltic Exchange shareholders, members and panellists as well as the wider stakeholder community to discuss the potential transaction and have made good progress in consultations,” the Baltic said.

“The extension to the period of exclusivity allows this dialogue to continue.”

SGX meanwhile reiterated that there was no assurance that the exclusive discussions were no assurance of completion of the transaction.

The potential sale of one of the bastions of the UK’s maritime industries to an exchange in Asia has stoked passions. While the SGX has offered a number of guarantees such as maintaining the Baltic’s London headquarters at St Mary Axe and to preserve the Baltic’s current ethos as a membership organisation with member representation whose market activities are governed by the Baltic Code, there are those who are less than happy with the idea, which is seen as eroding the maritime sector in London and the UK as whole.

Indeed the possible sale has sparked a new broker association – Competitive Ship Brokers Limited representing a number of the Baltic’s panelists. The Baltic said it was seeking “constructive engagement” with the new association.

The SGX has rapidly built up a position in the dry freight derivative clearing market with over the last 18 months, and its market share topped 50% in March, from around just 5% at the end of 2014.