SHANGHAI – Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) said on Wednesday it had made a $36.6 billion bid to buy the London Stock Exchange.
In a statement, the company that operates Hong Kong’s stock exchange (SEHK), the third-largest in Asia, said it had offered the Board of London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) the option of combining the two companies.
“LSEG and HKEX are two of the world’s premier market infrastructure businesses, which together would offer unique potential to enhance and capture global capital and data flows,” the Hong Kong company said.
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 said the move would boost Hong Kong’s position as a key link between China, Asia and the rest of the world.
It would also allow the LSE to capitalize on the growth of mainland China’s economy.
“We believe a combination of HKEX and LSEG represents a highly compelling strategic opportunity to create a global market infrastructure group, bringing together the largest and most significant financial centers in Asia and Europe,” said Laura Cha, HKEX chairman.
“Following early engagement with LSEG, we look forward to working in detail with the LSEG Board to demonstrate that this transaction is in the best interests of all stakeholders, investors and both businesses.”
The companies’ chief executive, Charles Li, said the move would “redefine global capital markets for decades to come.”
“Together, we will connect East and West, be more diversified and we will be able to offer customers greater innovation, risk management and trading opportunities.”
The London Stock Exchange jumped when the news came out before settling once again.