Politically sensitive sale of Chicago exchange to Chinese buyers is cancelled

17 February, 2018, 01:49 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • Reuters

After a review that lasted for more than two years, the top USA financial regulatory agency barred a Chinese-led group of investors from purchasing the Chicago Stock Exchange.

The decision by the SEC has put an end to a two-year battle for an approval of the sale and emphasizes once again zero tolerance by Donald Trump' s administration toward Chinese buyers.

"China, a Chinese company", Trump said in a debate in SC in early 2016.

The SEC said that during its review, it was unable to obtain all the information it needed from the Chinese-led group of investors, including details about how some of the entities involved in the deal were funded.

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"This has been a long fight, and I am grateful we now have a president who recognises the national security threats of allowing a Chinese government-affiliated company to own the Chicago Stock Exchange", Republican congressman Robert Pittenger said in a statement on Thursday.

The exchange, which handles less than 1% of daily United States stock trading, was hoping the sale could be a springboard to a brighter future, attracting new listings and investments from China.

The acquisition, which was first proposed back in February of 2016 and worth approximately $25 million, was led by privately held Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group that invests in financial holdings and real estate development.

The decision by the SEC comes during a time of increased trade tensions between the USA and China. Deutsche Boerse bought the US-based International Securities Exchange for $2.8bn in 2007, before selling it to Nasdaq for $1.1bn in 2016.

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In its decision to reject the deal, the S.E.C. said the proposal left too many unanswered questions about who would ultimately have control over big decisions at the exchange.

In particular, the SEC said it was not satisfied that it would have full access to the exchange's books and records if the deal were to go through.

The Chicago Stock Exchange, in a blog post Friday, said it was disappointed with the decision.

The landmark Securities Exchange Act of 1934 governs secondary trading of securities - stocks, bonds, and debentures - in the United States, and provides the basis for government oversight of USA financial markets.

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