Hong Kong Exchanges proposes $39 bn London Stock Exchange takeover

London Stock Exchange gets £32bn Hong Kong bid

Hong Kong Exchanges (HKEX) mentioned it had approached LSE with a proposal to merge the 2 firms to create a "international market infrastructure chief".

London Stock Exchange confirmed on Wednesday that Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing has made an "unsolicited, preliminary and highly conditional" £29.6bn offer for the company, which it will consider.

HKEX added: 'The proposed combination would strengthen both businesses, better position them to innovate across markets and geographies, and offer market participants and investors unprecedented global market connectivity'.

HKEX has been the world's largest listings venue in five of the past 10 years, splitting the crown over that decade with the New York Stock Exchange, according to Refinitiv data.

In terms of future governance, HKEX says it has begun conversations with certain regulators in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong and looks forward to discussing the transaction in detail with LSEG and all relevant regulatory bodies.

The HKSE deal is subject to approval by both sets of shareholders, as well as the termination of the Refinitiv deal.

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"The proposed offer would be totemic in terms of East-West relations", said Richard Hunter, head of markets at online broker Interactive Investor.

"The proposal is a fascinating prospect, but far from a done deal".

Shares in LSE, which were trading more than 17 percent higher in reaction to the news at 0834 GMT, were trading 4.5 percent higher at 1010 GMT.

Meanwhile, analysts over at Bank of America Merrill Lynch were also sceptical, saying the offer price was below their price objective for the LSE and that given the "regulatory complexity" they preferred the Refinitiv merger.

The European Commission said the deal would have created a "de facto monopoly" for certain financial services.

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