The top US regulator of the financial markets has blocked the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange (CHX) to a Chinese-led investor group due to concerns over the would-be buyers’ ability to supervise the bourse after the deal.
“The review process has also raised questions about whether the proposed ownership structure will allow the commission to exercise sufficient oversight of the exchange,” the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Thursday.
The decision by the SEC has put an end to a two-year battle for an approval of the sale and emphasizes once again zero tolerance by Donald Trump’ s administration toward Chinese buyers. During the election campaign the 45th US president pointed to the CHX deal as an example of how American jobs and wealth were leaving the country.
Under the proposal, the Chinese-led North America Casin Holdings group aimed to purchase a minority share of the CHX. The deal could reportedly bring the exchange, which accounts for just 0.5 percent of US equities trades, some “vital capital.”
The funding would be used “to boost numerous initiatives designed to benefit the city of Chicago, the US economy and market structure as a whole,” the exchange said.
In August, the regulator approved the sale of the privately owned exchange, but the decision was put on hold for further review within minutes after the announcement. The SEC commissioners are currently led by Chairman Jay Clayton, a Trump appointee.
The US congressmen from both political camps had been slamming the deal, arguing that it could give China’s government access to American financial markets
“We must continue to be vigilant, with thorough oversight, to prevent the highly-coordinated and strategic efforts of the Communist Chinese government to threaten our national security through malicious business investments,” Republican Congressman Robert Pittenger said in a statement on the issue.
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