Nasdaq says London Stock Exchange overstates trading projections

The Nasdaq Stock Market Inc., making a late bid to woo shareholder support for its hostile bid to take over London Stock Exchange PLC, said Tuesday it believes the London market has overstated its trading prospects.

"Whilst Nasdaq recognizes LSE's success to date, we believe it is important to take a realistic view of LSE's future operational and financial potential," Nasdaq said in a letter to shareholders.

Nasdaq's 2.7 billion pound (Ђ4 billion; US$5.3 billion) bid for the LSE closes on Friday.

London Stock Exchange last week offered shareholders an extra 250 million pounds (Ђ380 million; US$491 million) through share buybacks to reject Nasdaq's offer, reports AP.

"We believe LSE's forecast of 480,000 average daily SETS trades for financial year 2008 is ambitious, and we would point to the fact that this level is 39 percent above the run rate achieved in December 2006," the letter said.

Nasdaq, which has a 29 percent stake in the London exchange, offered 1,243 pence (Ђ18.90; US$24.42) per share for the company.

LSE shares slipped 0.6 percent to 1,308 (US$25.83; Ђ19.94) pence in London.

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