SGX offer to buy ASX for S$10.7B looks like a good financial deal for the Australians. SGX is paying a huge premium of 37% above the price based on AGX's current stock market valuation. This reminds me of SingTel takeover of Optus which proved to be drag on its performance for many years. The new CEO of SGX perhaps feels pressured to impress with a big move given his other ideas like getting rid of the lunch time, high frequency trading and introduction of black pools have not been well received. The previous SGX CEO brought in many (sometimes crappy) Chinese companies known as S-shares which was great for SGX and its stakeholders i.e. brokerages but sometimes painful for small shareholders of S-chips. Singapore companies have had a number of major takeovers of foreign counterparts more often than not the outcomes are not positive especially so when Singapore companies overpay - what comes to mind are Shin Corp, Americal President Line (by NOL) etc.
The ASX deal is opposed by Australian politicians who view the Singapore political system negatively:
"Singapore is a state that tramples all over freedom of speech, democracy, the rights of oppositions, the ability for public discourse," -Greens leader Bob Brown told Dow Jones [Link]
“(They) don't respect this nation in the way they should, they don't respect our aspiration for a more democratic and fair society, and have a poor track record in regarding Australians as equals." - Green leader Bob Brown
"I have a desire some things in my country are left owned by my country. I do not wish to live in a country of serfs working for foreign landlords," - Independent lawmaker Bob Katter [Link]
I think the deal is likely to be derailed given ASX is an Australian monopoly and it is clearly against their national interest to have it under the control of foreign company. Singapore political system is viewed as unacceptable by certain Australians politicians and they cringe at the thought of Singapore companies coming in to dominate various business sectors because of PAP's lack of respect of human rights and undemocratic ways. Bob Katter worries that such invasions by "foreign landlords" will result in a country of serfs working for foreigners. In Singapore we get to hear PAP's explanation that foreigners will create jobs for locals and there is nobody as powerful as Bob Katter around to warn us that we might turn into serfs in our own country and stop that from happening.