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HKEX's $39.5 billion bid for relevance is bound to fail

Exchange wants to be a 'global company' but can't deny its dependence on China

| Hong Kong, Macao
Chief Executive Charles Li talks of the combined HKEX-LSE as global giant that could span an 18-hour trading day.    © Reuters

The leaders of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing have sketched out an optimistic vision of global growth to justify their bold 32 billion pound ($39.5 billion) bid to buy the London Stock Exchange Group.

But instead of a sign of confidence, the offer is arguably a last desperate attempt to keep HKEX relevant in a shifting environment where China is widening access for foreign investors to its markets and its own new equity listings are showing signs of decline.

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