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Soros may buy 4 pct in India bourse for $35-40 mln

Soros Fund Management will buy the stake in Asia's oldest stock exchange from Dubai Financial.

July 28, 2010 11:48 by

Billionaire financier George Soros is in advanced talks to buy a 4 percent stake in India’s Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) for $35-$40 million, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday.

Soros Fund Management will buy the stake in Asia’s oldest stock exchange from Dubai Financial, part of sovereign fund Dubai Holding, the sources, who declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media, told Reuters.

The Financial Times first reported the news.

“Dubai Financial has been looking to sell its about 4 percent stake for quite some time now,” said one source. “The talks with Soros are now in almost final stages and a formal transaction is expected shortly.”

In May, Canadian fund manager Urbana Corp bought 331,000 shares of the Bombay Stock Exchange, the owner of India’s Sensex stock index, at 370 rupees per share, raising its stake to 2.6 percent in the unlisted Indian exchange.

Dubai Financial may also sell shares of the Bombay Stock Exchange to Soros for roughly 370 rupees apiece, valuing the 4 percent stake at $35-$40 million, the sources said.

Singapore state investor Temasek said in May it would buy a 5 percent stake in BSE’s rival National Stock Exchange of India from NYSE Euronext.

Frankfurt-based Deutsche Boerse and Singapore Exchange each hold 5 percent stakes in the BSE, which in recent years has contemplated an initial public offering.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)

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