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New NYSE chief : More consolidation ahead

Just a day after his appointment as new CEO, Duncan Niederauer sees 4 to 5 key players emerging in coming years.

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By David Ellis, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Newly-installed NYSE Euronext chief Duncan Niederauer said Thursday he anticipated further consolidation among the world's financial exchanges with just a handful of key players emerging in the next five years.

"In three to five years, there will be four to five global exchange groups," said Niederauer, speaking at the Merrill Lynch Banking & Financial Services Investor conference in New York.

"We hope we are well positioned to be one of those four to five groups, if not the leading group," added Niederauer, who was anointed to lead NYSE Euronext late Wednesday, following the announcement by CEO John Thain that he planned to take over as chief executive at Merrill Lynch (Charts, Fortune 500).

In the past few years, financial exchanges have made a big push towards consolidation in the United States and beyond in an effort to offer a broader set of investment tools to customers.

NYSE Euronext (Charts), which offers equities, options, market data and listing services both in the United States and Europe, has been one of the most ambitious of the exchange operators in this regard.

Just this year, it announced a strategic partnership with the Tokyo Stock Exchange, purchased a 5 percent stake in India's National Stock Exchange and acquired a 1 percent stake in the Brazilian exchange Bovespa, which went public late last month.

Niederauer noted, however, that it would take several years before exchanges in Asia are ready to consolidate amongst themselves or engage in a global merger, although they might be willing to sell a small stake to foreign players.

"We don't see it on the immediate horizon that an exchange in Asia is just going to completely take part in a global merger," he said. "I don't think the markets are ready for that." To top of page

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