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The Quebec government says it has concerns over the proposed merger of the TMX Group Inc. and the London Stock Exchange and wants the province's securities regulator to hold public hearings on the matter.

"The just-announced proposal to merge the London and Toronto stock exchanges raises important issues for the economies of Quebec and Canada," Quebec's Finance Minister Raymond Bachand said Wednesday.

The Quebec government will take the time to carefully examine the proposed merger to make sure it is in the province's best economic interests, he said in a news release.

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Top priority will be given to ensuring that the economic spin offs from the derivatives market - a specialty of the Montreal Exchange, which was taken over by the Toronto exchange's parent several years ago - are protected and even strengthened, he added.

The government is keen to ensure that the derivatives market - and the jobs, technology and R&D it generates - stays in Montreal and that its future growth is not hampered as a result of the merger, said Catherine Poulin, a spokeswoman for the Quebec finance minister.

Public hearings by the Autorité des marchés financiers du Québec should include a close look at this issue, she said.

"They will study this in a vigilant way.

"We want to protect the derivatives operations. It's a priority," she said.

The proposed merger of the London and Toronto exchanges requires the approval of Investment Canada as well as the Ontario and Quebec securities commissions.

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About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More

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