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ICE in Canada

The exchange sets a joint venture for energy trading.

The

IntercontinentalExchange

(ICE) - Get Report

is saddling up with a Canadian exchange operator on an energy-trading venture.

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The ICE, an Atlanta-based energy futures and commodities exchange, is joining up with the TSX Group's Natural Gas Exchange (NGX) to trade North American natural gas and Canadian power.

TSX Group is also the parent of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but "cleared and bilateral markets for North American physical natural gas and Canadian electricity" will be offered together on the ICE's electronic platform, while the NGX will serve as a clearinghouse for the products, the ICE says.

The ICE's alliance comes as its main competitor, the

New York Mercantile Exchange

(NMX)

, also moves into Canada. Last month, Nymex purchased a 10% stake in the Montreal Exchange. The Montreal Exchange offers financial derivatives products including Canadian interest rate, index and equity derivatives.

Through a joint venture agreement, the exchanges have also formed a new company -- with headquarters in Calgary -- that will provide exchange-traded and over-the-counter crude oil, natural gas and electricity products to the Canadian markets.

Earlier this month, the ICE unveiled an unsolicited offer for the

Chicago Board of Trade

(BOT)

in a bid to scotch the CBOT's planned merger with the

Chicago Mercantile Exchange

(CME) - Get Report

.

Two weeks ago, the ICE launched a $9.2 billion bid against the CME's $8.5 billion offer for the Board of Trade. The CBOT continues to weigh the bids.

Shares of the ICE rose 11 cents to $123.05.