Singapore’s stock exchange on Friday moved a step closer to a union with its Australian counterpart after submitting a formal merger application.
Singapore Exchange (SGX) said in a statement it submitted the application to the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), which advises the government on foreign direct investments into the country.
The Singapore bourse and the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced plans in October for a merger that would create one of the world’s largest and most diversified financial trading hubs.
“The Board of Directors of Singapore Exchange Limited is pleased to announce that it has… lodged a formal application to the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board about the proposed merger of SGX and ASX Limited,” the statement said.
The filing of the application comes after both bourses amended their merger proposal in February, promising an equal number of directors from each country in a bid to overcome objections in Australia to the $8.4 billion deal.
Opponents have raised concerns over foreign ownership and Singapore’s democracy and rights record.
The filing is the latest step in a series of regulatory and government approvals that need to be gained in Singapore and Australia before the merger can be implemented.
The planned merger comes as several global bourses also announced moves to tie up.
Last month, German exchange operator Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext said they were planning a deal that would create the world’s biggest bourse, while London and Toronto said they were also considering a merger.