Correction: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect name for the head of strategy at HKEX.
Hong Kong has just made a surprise £30 billion ($37 billion) takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKXCF) (HKEX) said Wednesday it had made a proposal to the LSE to combine the two companies in a cash and share deal worth £29.6 billion, or £31.6 billion ($39 billion) including debt.
If it happens, the takeover would create the world’s third biggest stock exchange group behind the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq in terms of the value of companies listed on those markets, according to the operators’ data.
The deal would “redefine global capital markets for decades to come,” HKEX CEO Charles Li told reporters on a conference call. It would reinforce Hong Kong’s position as the key connection between mainland China, Asia and the rest of the world.
But it faces a series of hurdles. Hong Kong’s offer comes at a sensitive time, politically. Brexit uncertainty is casting a shadow over London’s role as a global financial center. At the same time, Hong Kong — Asia’s premier financial hub — has been rocked by months of pro-demo