Hong Kong Stock Exchange drops bid

Hong Kong, Oct 8 (AFP/APP):The Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday dropped its multibillion-dollar bid for the prized London Stock Exchange Group, which would have created a global markets titan.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) made the shock proposal for LSEG on September 11, but LSEG formally rejected the offer the following day citing “fundamental” flaws and concerns over its ties to the city’s government.

The huge cash-and-shares bid, which was worth £32 billion ($40 billion), was dependent on the axing of LSEG’s planned purchase of US financial data provider Refinitiv.

HKEX chairman Laura Cha said at the time of the offer that it represented a “compelling” opportunity and would bring together the largest and most significant financial centres in Asia and Europe.

However, the owner of the London and Milan stock exchanges unanimously rejected the bid, saying it fell “substantially short of an appropriate valuation for a takeover”. It also argued it remained committed instead to its $27 billion acquisition of Refinitiv.

HKEX said in a statement released on Tuesday that it was “disappointed” to pull its bid but that it was in the best interests of shareholders to do so.

“HKEX confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for LSEG,” the statement said.

“The Board of HKEX continues to believe that a combination of LSEG and HKEX is strategically compelling and would create a world-leading market infrastructure group.

“Despite engagement with a broad set of regulators and extensive shareholder engagement, the Board of HKEX is disappointed that it has been unable to engage with the management of LSEG in realising this vision.”

Shares in Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing rose almost three percent on Tuesday.

Read More: Hong Kong shares end with sharp gains

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