• London-based bourse to keep its head office in the city
  • Shipping bourse to retain ethos as ‘membership organization’

The Baltic Exchange Ltd., a London-based publisher of shipping rates that shape the cost of hauling everything from iron ore to oil, said it entered exclusive talks with Singapore Exchange Ltd. following an “attractive proposal” from the Asian bourse.

The London-based organization, currently owned mostly by shipbrokers who help determine its daily rates, will retain its current ethos as a membership organization, according to the statement. Along with SGX, as the Singaporean bourse is known, the Baltic Exchange will meet with members and industry participants in the coming weeks.

“The proposed transaction would further strengthen the links between London and Singapore, two of the world’s leading maritime business hubs,” Guy Campbell, chairman of the Baltic Exchange, said in the statement.

The Baltic Exchange, which would keep its head office in London under the proposed accord, has built a platform to allow traders of freight derivatives to buy and sell the contracts. SGX would continue to allow other organizations to clear such deals and freeze its own costs for doing so for five years, according to the statement.

While the Baltic Exchange is well known among commodity and oil traders for its role in publishing freight costs, it is tiny compared with other exchanges. It had revenue of 6 million pounds ($8.8 million) in the year to March 31, 2015, according to its website. Singapore Exchange’s sales were about S$779 million last year ($595 million), data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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