The plan by Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd (HKEX) to take over London Stock Exchange (LSE) is running into multiple obstacles a day after the surprise bid was launched, with the UK bourse leaning toward rejecting the offer in its current form.
LSE and its advisers have wide-ranging concerns, including the possible influence of China on the HKEX, and the deal could face pushback from UK and US officials over security concerns, according to people familiar with the matter. LSE is also wary of a bid that is structured mainly in stock and has exposure to the volatile situation in Hong Kong, the people said.
The Asian bid also faces skepticism from LSE’s British-based shareholders. Jupiter Asset Management and Aberdeen Standard Investments indicated they prefer the British bourse’s planned takeover of Refinitiv — a strategic move to expand in data that HKEX wants to scrap.