Officials with the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on Friday reportedly rejected a $36.6 billion takeover bid from the owners of Hong Kong’s stock exchange.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the rejected bid represented the latest attempt by foreign interests to win control over the more than 200-year-old exchange, and that it fell apart due to concerns over Hong Kong’s future security and stability as a market.
The LSE will instead move forward with plans to purchase Refinitiv Holdings Ltd., which deals in financial terminals and other services, according to the Journal, which noted that the plans to purchase Refinitiv would have been scrapped had the Hong Kong deal gone through.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd., which made the bid for the LSE, could of course return with a better offer, though it was unclear whether the LSE’s security concerns could be rectified in the midst of anti-government protests that have rocked Hong Kong for weeks.
The LSE began offering its own shares publicly in 2000 and has faced takeover bids from foreign rivals including Nasdaq every few years, according to the Journal.
It was one of several financial institutions with offices in London that were targeted by protests in April by climate activists urging the financial industry to cease investments in fossil fuels.