SINGAPORE Exchange (SGX) chief executive Magnus Bocker returned to the local bourse on Wednesday and started what is likely to have been a whirlwind of meetings with members of his key management team and shareholders.

On the top of his to-do list: Get them to fully back Monday's proposed A$8.4 billion (S$10.6 billion) merger of SGX and its Australian counterpart ASX.

Mr Bocker - who touched down in Singapore on Tuesday night from Sydney - and his team at SGX have their work cut out if they hope to close the deal by the second quarter of next year.

For starters, observers say Mr Bocker will need to convince SGX shareholders - who are likely to see their stakes in the firm diluted slightly if the merger goes through - to approve the bold move to consolidate two national bourses.

Initial reactions to the proposed merger have so far been mixed.
After the deal was officially announced, SGX shares slumped on Monday.

They fell even more on Tuesday before recovering on Wednesday to close 1.38 per cent higher at $8.84.

Long road to merger