* D. Boerse mulls ISE sale, sees no time pressure -sources
* Proceeds could bolster growth in Asia -sources
* No obvious buyer for ISE -analysts
* Deutsche Boerse declines comment
By Andreas Kröner
FRANKFURT, June 6 Deutsche Boerse
would like to use the proceeds from an eventual sale of its
International Securities Exchange (ISE) unit to fund expansion
in Asia, two sources familiar with the thinking of the German
exchange operator said on Friday.
The exchange group has been mulling the sale of its U.S.
options exchange, but sees likely offer prices as not attractive
enough for any move near-term and has mandated no banks to study
the issue, the sources said.
"There is no time pressure," one of the sources said.
Deutsche Boerse sees Asia as the mainspring of its future
growth and already aims to double revenue from the region to 200
million euros ($272 million) annually by 2017.
Proceeds from the sale of ISE would give Deutsche Boerse
additional capacity to invest in India or China, for example,
after the group agreed to intensify cooperation with Bank of
China and the Shanghai Stock Exchange earlier this
Some analysts said they would welcome a sale of ISE, which
has not lived up to expectations due to fierce price competition
and regulatory obstacles to product approvals since it was
purchased by Deutsche Boerse for around $2.8 billion in 2007.
Deutsche Boerse has taken a series of impairment charges on
the asset since then, including one of 415 million euros in the
fourth quarter of 2009. ISE was valued at 921.3 million euros at
the end of 2013, according to Deutsche Boerse's annual report.
ISE is only expected to fetch between $1 billion and $1.5
billion if sold, one of the sources told Reuters.
"We would generally look on a sale in that price range as a
positive for the stock, one that might open other opportunities
for DB and its shareholders, such as capital return through
dividends/buybacks or the acquisition of a property that better
fit with its core strategic vision," analysts at BMO Capital
Markets commented in a note to clients.
However, finding a buyer may take some time, BMO added.
"Frankly, a logical buyer with deep enough pockets doesn't
immediately come to mind, so we'd place relatively low odds
on the transaction happening in the near term," it said.
Deutsche Boerse declined comment.
The exchange operator bought ISE after its own attempts to
grow failed to take off. The ISE platform was expected to allow
it to push into the market for U.S. equity options,
complementing its derivatives platform Eurex, which offers
trading in European equity options, index options and futures.
But options trading volume has been hit by the introduction
of new bank rules which force traders to underpin options bets
with more capital.
($1 = 0.7345 Euros)
(Writing by Jonathan Gould; Editing by David Holmes)