NYSE Group Inc. Chief Executive John Thain said Friday he expects to reach an agreement on a partnership with the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Thain told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum that the deal between the New York Stock Exchange and Japan's main bourse was "logical," but he said an outright merger was unlikely.
The NYSE is about to complete its acquisition of Paris-based Euronext to form the first trans-Atlantic stock exchange, but Thain said the "linkage" with the Tokyo bourse would likely be different.
In its strategy to become a global company, the NYSE has recently purchased a 5 percent stake in India's national stock exchange. Thain said he hopes to increase the size of the stake over time and also wants to establish a presence in China.
The Nasdaq also has been trying to boost its presence internationally.
It has made a hostile US$5.3 billion bid to buy the London Stock Exchange, which LSE officials have rejected. Nasdaq has said its offer is final and is due to expire within the next 24 hours.
Last October, the stock market announced that it had agreed to explore areas of cooperation with its Japanese counterpart, the Jasdaq.
"When it comes to exchanges, hostile transactions don't seem to me to be the best strategy," Thain said.
"There are still nationalistic views of exchanges," he added. "They're not the same as a widget manufacturing company."