New York CNN Business  — 

Two of the world’s premier financial information providers are combining. S&P Global is buying IHS Markit for $44 billion in stock.

S&P Global (SPGI) is one of the leading providers of credit ratings, analytics and indexes used to assess the global financial markets. It provides a leading index of US home prices as well as the bellwether S&P 500 market index and the Dow Jones industrial average.

IHS Markit (INFO) offers analytics and economic measures, particularly the surveys of purchasing managers in different nations around the globe that are closely watched by economists.

The deal shows the growing importance and value of financial data firms to global financial markets. Other major players in the field include Bloomberg, FactSet and Refinitiv.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of next year. It is the largest announced this year, according to DealLogic, surpassing a $40 billion purchase by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NPPXF) of one of its partly-owned subsidiaries, and a proposed $40 billion purchase of British chip designer ARM by Nvidia (NVDA).

The companies said they expect be able to cut combined annual costs by about $480 million, which could mean job cuts, as often happens in mergers. At the end of last year, S&P had 22,500 worldwide employees, of whom about 5,500 were based in the United States. London-based IHS Markit had 15,500 employees. The combined company will be based in New York.

Shares of IHS Markit rose about 6% in premarket trading on the news.

IHS Markit is itself the product of a relatively recent merger. Back in 2016, IHS acquired Markit in a deal valued at $13 billion.

CNN Business’ Rob Mclean contributed to this report