For those who follow business news and related topics, it’s plain to see as day that China and its numerous companies are eager to seize up profitable properties and enterprises throughout the world to expand their global market presence. Just ask the UK Prime Ministers’ pub in London that was snapped up by Chinese investors after then-PM David Cameron took President Xi Jinping there for a pint with fish and chips. This bit of news focuses on prospective acquisitions of China’s investment giants in the US. And right now the biggest buzz revolves around what’s probably the most significant target yet: the Chicago Stock Exchange.
It’s been confirmed by The Wall Street Journal that the US Committee on Foreign Investment has just passed a security clearance on behalf of the Chinese investment firms, represented by the Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group. CSE spokesman Drew Mauck tells the WSJ that the committee, had it had the mind to, would’ve recommended not to allow Chinese investment on the exchanged and called on now-outgoing President Barack Obama to officially block it. Now however the buck has been passed from the CFI to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which could deliberate on the warrants of the deal up until February of next year, before they approve or hinder a change in control. Still, passing the CFI review was considered the biggest obstacle to a successful CSE buyout, as the committee’s probes have scared away some of the initial investors in the clique.
As to what the decision means, it’s that the deal to buy the Chicago exchange will not have to be scrutinized by the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, who has been a venomous critic of Chinese business practices and interests wherever US businesses are also concerned. The CFI review however was expected of Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger from NC, who opines that it only happened due to the outgoing administration’s open investment policies, and would like the committee to provide a viable justification.
The Chicago Stock Exchange has long been suffering from a drop in business interest, and is hoping that an their acquisition by the Casin Group and its partners will enable them to stabilize their situation and once again become an attractive venue for traders, considering that at present the CSE works even less than 1% of the total US equities trade, a figure they’d like to see rise significantly. Last September the exchange petitioned the SEC to allow them to put speed bumps on orders as a protective measure for market makers doing business on their venue.
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