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Bovespa and BM&F agree exchange deal

Bovespa Holding, which controls the São Paulo Stock Exchange, and the BM&F, Brazil’s main futures exchange, on Wednesday gained approval from their boards for a merger that will create the second-largest exchange in the Americas.

The two exchanges had announced last month they had entered talks, marking a further step in the consolidation of the world’s stock and futures exchanges, following a flurry of recent activity.

 

Last year, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange bought the Chicago Board of Trade for $11bn and the enlarged CME group this month finalised a deal to buy Nymex, the New York energy exchange, for $9.4bn.

However, it remains to be seen whether the two Brazilian exchanges will regain portfolio investors’ confidence after a rocky ride for the groups’ shares.

Both exchanges demutualised through IPOs within the past six months. Shares immediately jumped, coinciding with the peak of the Brazilian market, but have since fallen.

Low trading volumes, a sharp downturn in the number of IPOs and international market conditions have weighed heavily. Bovespa is highly dependent on foreign investors,

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