To the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, London Is Perfect

While you were sleeping Tuesday night, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (or HKEX) made an unsolicited $36.6 billion offer to acquire the London Stock Exchange.

HKEX’s idea of a big picture: The exchanges have a combined market value of over $70 billion, together topping the price tag on the $50 billion Intercontinental Exchange, the NYSE’s parent company.

But the picture is bigger than just London and Hong Kong. The potential tie-in reminds us just how intertwined the world’s trading hubs have become as technological advancements take finance cross-border.

  • HKEX bought the London Metal Exchange’s parent company in 2012.
  • Germany’s Deutsche Börse Group has tried twice and failed twice to buy the LSE. The U.S.-based Nasdaq also made a run for it…unsuccessfully.
  • Nasdaq owns and operates exchanges in the Nordic and Baltic regions, where day traders barely work in the winter. 

The LSE has proven difficult to tie down. Its recent bid for Refinitiv won’t make things easier…and LSE chief David Schwimmer (not that David Schwimmer) called the deal “preliminary and highly conditional.”

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