An aerial view of the London Stock Exchange Paternoster Square

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Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) said Wednesday it has made a proposal to the board of London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSE) to combine the two companies which values the LSE at about 29.6 billion pounds ($36.6 billion).

LSE in August agreed to buy financial information provider Refinitiv in a $27 billion deal aimed at offering trading across regions and currencies and establishing the British company as a rival to Bloomberg.

LSE shares rallied shortly after 10:00 a.m. London time, rising by 8.5%.

The HKEX said the deal would be funded by a combination of existing cash and a new credit facility. It cautioned, however, that its statement to the market should be considered as an announcement to make a possible offer and is not confirmation of a firm intention to bid.

HKEX said it expected key LSE management to keep their jobs and work for the new owners.

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