Oct 8, 2019

Hong Kong's stock exchange pulls takeover offer for London Stock Exchange

Photo: Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing pulled a $39 billion takeover offer for the London Stock Exchange, following opposition from LSE's board and an inability to secure large shareholder support.

Why it matters: LSE opposition was officially driven by strategic and pricing concerns, but cannot be divorced from concerns over the future viability of Hong Kong's "one country, two systems" relationship with China.

  • LSE plans to move forward with its $27 billion purchase of financial data company Refinitiv from The Blackstone Group and Thomson Reuters. HK Exchanges had made its offer contingent on LSE dropping the Refinitiv deal.

The bottom line: "Exchange companies have tried and failed to combine in recent years, as political, regulatory and economic considerations have foiled the efforts." — Bloomberg

Go deeper

Hong Kong frees murder suspect who triggered massive protests

Chan Tong-kai walks out of the Pik Uk Prison in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Photo: Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images

Murder suspect Chan Tong-kai, whose case prompted Hong Kong's government to introduce a bill that would've exposed Hong Kongers to extradition to mainland China, was released from prison Wednesday, the BBC reports. He was released as officials were preparing to formally withdraw the controversial bill, per AP.

Why it matters: The bill triggered months of massive demonstrations in the Chinese territory that morphed into a wider pro-democracy protest movement that's become embroiled in U.S. politics. Congress has raised China's ire by pressing ahead with a bill supporting the Hong Kong protesters, and the NBA has become involved in a standoff with Chinese officials over the movement.

Go deeperArrowOct 23, 2019

Hong Kong tensions fray U.S.-China tech ties

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Recent controversies over free speech about the Hong Kong protests are highlighting the widening schism between the U.S. and China and creating a messy situation for tech companies with business ties to both countries.

Why it matters: Both the U.S. and China aim to make their tech industries less interdependent, but the deep ties are tough to sever, and doing so would disrupt business on both sides of the Pacific.

Go deeperArrowOct 11, 2019

New stock exchange files application with SEC

The Wall Street sign near the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: BRYAN R. SMITH / Stringer/Getty Images

Members Exchange (MEMX) filed paperwork to the Securities Exchange Commission to operate as a stock exchange, according to documents made public on Thursday. The stock exchange upstart says it will launch next year if approved by regulators.

Why it matters: MEMX is backed by a slew of Wall Street heavyweights and is hoping to take on NYSE parent company Intercontinental Exchange and the Nasdaq — which dominates the industry — by offering a cheaper platform. But other new stock exchanges haven’t been successful in taking significant market share away from the bigger players.