A great shake-up for the world's big bourses

Thinning margins and declining equities trading volumes are driving securities exchanges to seek out new partners to survive. The ASX may need to revisit its options.

The merger of two of the big challenger exchanges in the US that was unveiled on Monday is another indicator that the global exchange consolidation, which had been slowed by regulatory obstacles and cultural issues, is stirring again.

The merger of BATS Global Markets and Direct Edge Holdings would create the second-largest US stock exchange, closing in on the New York Stock Exchange and isolating Nasdaq, the incumbent number two.

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