Shares in the owner of the London Stock Exchange have surged after it received a £30bn merger proposal from its Hong Kong rival.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) said it was yet to make a firm offer but its plans would create a “global market infrastructure leader”.
The terms of its cash and shares proposal would value the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) at £8.36 per share or £29.6bn.
Image: HKEX says a deal would boost London post-Brexit but it could also help shield its own activities from democracy protest disruption in Hong Kong
Shares in LSEG, which was yet to comment, were trading 16% up in the moments after the announcement was made but later settled 10% higher – at £6.60 per share.
The company had a market value just shy of £24bn at the start of the day’s trading.
The Hong Kong exchange said a deal would provide the LSE with a key opening to Asian markets and underpin London’s role as a key financial hub – currently seen as potentially threatened by Brexit.
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Hong Kong itself has seen its own hub status threatened by unrest over Chinese rule.
HKEX said it would also seek a secondary listing in London on the completion of a merger.
The firm’s statement 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.”
The company is required, under City rules, to make a firm offer by 9 October.
The Hong Kong firm made its push following three attempts by the LSEG to join forces with Deutsche Boerse – with the latter merger plan blocked by the EU in 2017.
LSEG revealed in July it was in talks to buy Refinitiv, the financial data provider, for $27bn (£21.6bn).
Source : Sky News