Battle For The Bourse

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A VERY BRITISH EXCHANGE: The Queen at the London Stock Exchange dedication in July 2005

The London Stock Exchange is as quintessentially British as cricket or the BBC. As far back as 1698, dealers met in Jonathan's Coffee House in London's teeming Change Alley to trade prices and shares. When the L.S.E. moved to a new, high-tech headquarters last year, Queen Elizabeth herself stopped by to dedicate it. But today the L.S.E, the battleground for many a corporate takeover, is itself about to be taken over — and neither of its two main suitors is British. Deutsche Börse, operator of the Frankfurt stock exchange, has proposed a $2.41 billion bid to buy the L.S.E. And Euronext...

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