Business

HK exchange bids $54 billion to take over London Stock Exchange

LONDON: Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) has made an unsolicited US$39 billion (S$54 billion) takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange (LSE), an offer contingent on the LSE ditching its acquisition of data company Refinitiv.

The combination would help both exchanges compete better with rivals such as the Intercontinental Exchange and Chicago Mercantile Exchange from the US. The LSE has long sought to bolster its presence in Asia and recently launched a link scheme with HKEX competitor Shanghai.

"The board of HKEX believes a proposed combination with LSE Group represents a highly compelling strategic opportunity to create a global market infrastructure leader," HKEX said yesterday.

In response to HKEX's announcement, the LSE said it was committed to and continued to make good progress on its proposed acquisition of Refinitiv.

The bid by the Hong Kong company comes as Britain is set to leave the European Union, a step some fear could weaken its financial sector. HKEX, which already has a base in London as owner of the London Metal Exchange, said it had played a key role in underpinning London's position as a pre-eminent global centre for metals trading.

"HKEX is fully committed to supporting and building the long-term roles of both London and Hong Kong as global financial centres," it added.

The proposed transaction would go ahead only if the LSE's proposed takeover of Refinitiv does not proceed, HKEX said.

The LSE announced last month that it has agreed to buy Refinitiv in a US$27 billion deal aimed at transforming the exchange into a market data and analytics giant. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE