Sydney's SMARTS acquired by NASDAQ

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Local technology firm to serve the world's stock exchanges.

Sydney is poised to become a technology development hub for the NASDAQ and other stock exchanges, after the company that runs the U.S. technology stock exchange acquired local developer SMARTS Group.

NASDAQ OMX agreed to acquire SMARTS and its surveillance technology, which is used by stock exchanges and brokers around the world to ensure that market activity is compliant with local legislation.

The acquisition will position Sydney amongst New York and Stockholm, Sweden as one of three major technology development hubs for NASDAQ OMX, according to the group's chief information officer Anna Ewing.

"In the specific area of surveillance technology, and the domain of market integrity, Australia and the work that SMARTS and the CRC [collaborative research centre], they have really been world leaders and innovators," Ms Ewing told ITnews.

"Leveraging and growing that is something exciting."

In 2007, NASDAQ acquired OMX Group, a major stockmarket in Scandinavia, and soon after it released a common trading platform for the region.

This deal means SMARTS surveillance technology can now be sold to a range of markets and brokers around the world that are already NASDAQ OMX customers, according to SMARTS Group CEO Andreas Furche.

Mr Furche said SMARTS would grow as a result of the acqiusition.

"We'll be putting this technology in many new markets, what we are thinking about is how we will scale this up," Furche said.

The technology was first developed by the Government-funded Smart Services Co-operative Research Centre, which Furche said would "strongly benefit" from the acquisition, as it is a shareholder in SMARTS Group.

The acquisition is expected to be closed in the third quarter of 2010.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


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