Ontario plans body to review LSE-TMX deal -report

Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:57pm EST

* To review impact on Toronto financial sector

* Will also look at impact on mining in province

* Ontario finance minister opposes transaction

VANCOUVER , Feb 21 (Reuters) - The government of the Canadian province of Ontario plans to set up an all-party committee to review the London Stock Exchange's (LSE.L) proposed $7 billion bid for Canada's TMX Group (X.TO), Canadian newspapers reported on Monday.

The committee will look at the transaction's impact on Toronto's financial services sector as well as the mining industry in the north of the province, the papers said, quoting unnamed government sources.

Toronto, which is Ontario's capital and Canada's financial capital as well, is home to hundreds of thousands of jobs in the finance industry.

The committee, which according to the Globe and Mail will be headed by veteran Liberal provincial government member Gerry Phillips, will also look at whether the deal provides a net benefit to Canada.

The Ontario government, which is one of at least four Canadian provincial governments with a regulatory say over the transaction, has the power to block the deal on its own.

Last week, Ontario's Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told the Globe that the province won't rush to halt a deal, but would defer, for now, to Canada's federal government to decide if a merger would benefit the country.

Ottawa's review, which could take up to 75 days, was the logical first step, Duncan said.

Duncan has emerged as the takeover proposal's most vocal critic. He has the support of the Legislature's other parties, the Progressive Conservatives and the New Democrats, the Globe said. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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