Updated from Sunday, Oct. 24



) --

Singapore Exchange Ltd.

said Monday it made a cash-and-stock offer of $8.3 billion to acquire

ASX Ltd.

, the operator of the Australian Securities Exchange.

Singapore Exchange, which is known as SGX, will offer A$48 (or $47.11) for each ASX share. The offer is 37% higher than ASX's last traded price on Thursday, a a day before its shares were halted from trading pending an announcement on the deal.

The offer is made uo of AU$22 cash plus 3.473 shares in the Singapore Exchange for each share in ASX.

The combined company would be the world's fifth-largest by market value and rank as the second-largest stock market in Asia by number of listed companies.

The companies hope to close the deal in the second quarter of 2011. It will need approval from regulators in each country including Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board and Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan, the

Associated Press


If the merger of the two bourses is successful, it could kick off a round of consolidation among Asian bourses. The combined Singapore and Australian exchanges could pose a significant threat to exchanges in Tokyo and Hong Kong, reports the

Wall Street Journal

, which reported news of the potential deal earlier Sunday.

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This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet. AP contributed to this report.