updated 6/19/2006 9:04:37 AM ET 2006-06-19T13:04:37

The merger of Euronext and the New York Stock Exchange could lead to the launching of a new stock market in London, the head of the New York exchange said in an interview published Monday.

John Thain, chief executive of the NYSE Group Inc., said in an interview with the Financial Times that a new exchange in London was an option if the NYSE-Euronext combination did not deliver enough international listings.

Thain also said NYSE might also consider a move to take over the London Stock Exchange, though the U.S.-based Nasdaq already holds a 25 percent stake and Thain said his preference would be to set up a rival exchange.

The NYSE agreed this month to buy Euronext, which operates the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon exchanges, for $9.96 billion in cash and stock. Rival bidder Deutsche Boerse AG has vowed to continue its attempt to buy the exchange. Deutsche Boerse has not released terms of its bid, but analysts have estimated it to be worth around $11 billion.

Nasdaq is prevented from making another full-blown approach for the LSE until Sept. 30, following British rules that mean it must sit on the sidelines for six months after dropping an earlier bid.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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