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LSE sticks to Refinitiv plan, Hong Kong Exchange 'thinks big'

Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (HKEX) said it was "thinking big" in its $39 billion London Stock Exchange bid as LSE's chief executive said he was sticking with his $27 billion purchase of Refinitiv.

After LSE rebuffed its offer, HKEX is appealing directly to LSE shareholders and has until 9 October to decide whether to go hostile.

HKEX has said LSE must ditch its bid for Refinitiv for its offer to go ahead. Thomson Reuters owner of Reuters News, holds a 45 per cent stake in Refinitiv.

But LSE CEO David Schwimmer said that buying Refinitiv bolsters the LSE’s position in a growing data market and broadens assets traded to include foreign exchange and fixed income.

“The Refinitiv transaction does that, and does it very well,” Schwimmer said.

HKEX Chief Executive Charles Li said the timing for its bid for the LSE was not good, but it was a case of “now or never” as the London bourse offered an opportunity for HKEX to become a more global company.

“Now is the time to think big, when the world is polarizing to the east and west, it is time to become global,” Li told a conference. “Together we can unlock the last frontier.”

Li said that although HKEX’s bid for the LSE is “disruptive and unusual”, it would bring the huge Chinese market and the West together. ■