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Shares in Singapore Exchange have jumped higher amid reports the bourse operator has recently held exploratory talks with a number of global peers about possible tie-ups.

The island city’s exchange has long expressed its keenness to explore deals. Last year, in its largest deal to date, it paid £87m for the Baltic Exchange. In 2011, the company’s plan to merge with the Australian Stock Exchange was infamously knocked back by the Australian government.

SGX held discussions with the likes of Nasdaq and CME Group about possibilities ranging from collaborations, possible stake sales or even a full merger, Bloomberg reported today, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Shares jumped as much as 0.6 per cent following the report, but have since cooled to be 0.4 per cent higher – still at a 20-month high of S$7.80. The benchmark Straits Times index was down 0.3 per cent.

Loh Boon Chye, who took over as SGX’s chief executive in July 2015, has sought to diversify the company’s sources of revenue at a time when the exchange has struggled to attract big initial public offerings while being hit by a string of delistings and is also trying to restore confidence after a series of technical glitches in recent years. SGX is also vying to be the secondary listing venue for the planned initial public offering of oil giant Saudi Aramco.

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