Sep 11, 2019 - Economy

Hong Kong's stock exchange offers $36.6 billion to acquire London Stock Exchange

A view of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange flag (C) next to the Chinese national flag (2nd L) and the Hong Kong SAR flag (R), outside the exchange offices in Hong Kong.

A view outside the exchange offices in Hong Kong. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing proposed on Wednesday to acquire the London Stock Exchange for around $39 billion, contingent on the LSE dropping its $27 billion purchase of financial data company Refinitiv from The Blackstone Group and Thomson Reuters.

Why it matters: Both Hong Kong and London are worried about remaining global financial centers, due to the anti-China protests and Brexit. This could either firm up their position or obliterate it.

What they're saying: LSE said in a statement that it remains committed to the Refinitiv deal.

The bottom line: Even if the LSE is willing to switch up strategies — going for more of an uber-exchange than a Bloomberg terminal rival — it's far from certain that British regulators would sign off.

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