Stock exchange operator OMX AB, the largest bourse in the Nordic region, said Friday it has agreed to buy the Armenian bourse and the Central Depositary of Armenia.
It did not disclose the financial terms of the letter of intent it signed with Armenia's government and central bank.
OMX - the result of seven merged Nordic stock exchanges in the past three years - said that even though the Armenian market is quite small, it sees good opportunities for growth in the next few years. This will come from the country's pension reform, changes to the legal framework and more focus on the equity market, it said.
Chief Executive Magnus Bocker said the acquisition "is an opportunity to leverage our experience from developing emerging markets in other countries" and the "ambition is to use the Armenian case as a benchmark to enter other emerging capital markets."
The acquisition will require approvals from relevant authorities.
The global stock exchange industry is in the midst of consolidation - with U.S. bourses showing particular interest in Europe, including the New York Stock Exchange's acquisition of Euronext and Nasdaq's failed bid to take control of the London Stock Exchange. Like many other bourses, OMX has been the subject of market speculation about what role it may play.
When OMX reported its first-quarter results this week -posting a 14.3 percent rise in sales - it declined to specify its intentions but said it is keeping an eye on consolidation within the industry and will keep on evaluating its strategic opportunities.