March 30: LSE deal has not gone away forever

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March 30: Late in the day as it is, our best story remains Nasdaq’s withdrawal of its 950p proposed offer for the London Stock Exchange. However, the LSE’s shares have remained firmly above £10 all day because everybody knows the economics of exchange consolidation are so compelling. It is inconceivable that an LSE deal has gone away forever. Nasdaq reserves the right to come back and some sort of deal with the NYSE or Euronext cannot be discounted either, even though Euronext’s talks with Deutsche Börse appear this evening to be hotting up. You can read Lex online now.

3i plans to return £500m to investors for the second year running after having had lots of success selling investments. Read Lex online

The FSA is fiddling with its rules to make it easier for hedge funds to list on the stock market. As Kate Burgess has been writing, there are a number planning IPOs.

Equitable Life says its financial position has improved and it has had serious talks with several parties interested in buying parts of the business.

Lots of board changes at Cable & Wireless. As expected, the finance director, Charles Herlinger, has been ousted. But the company is also trimming its board by four to nine. Lord Robertson is among those stepping down from the board; he will move to the operating board of the international business.

We’re also planning to follow up our piece this morning about Asda asking its main suppliers for upfront cash payments. And we have a feature, the latest in our New City series, looking at property in the Square Mile.

HMV’s plan to buy the Ottakar’s chain of bookshops has been provisionally cleared by the Competition Commission.

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