US newspaper urges SEC to approve Chinese-led purchase of Chicago Stock Exchange – Xinhua

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CHICAGO, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) — Chicago Tribune, a leading newspaper in the American Midwest, urged U.S. regulators on Friday to approve a Chinese-led purchase of Chicago Stock Exchange and let more Chinese investments come to Chicago area.

In an editorial titled “Stop stalling, SEC,” the paper believes there is nothing frightening about the prospect of a Chinese-led group buying the Chicago Stock Exchange, despite the nervousness being expressed by some officials in Washington.

SEC refers to the Securities and Exchange Commission, an official regulatory body for securities exchanges in the U.S.

“Foreign investment contributes to the U.S. economy, just as it benefits the acquiring country. Foreign money is a vote of confidence.” the editorial pointed out.

An investment group led by Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group struck a deal last year to buy CHX Holdings, the Chicago exchange’s parent, for 20 million U.S. dollars.

However, some U.S. House of Representatives urged the SEC to reject the proposed acquisition, calling it “a threat to the U.S. financial security and Americans’ faith in our national financial market infrastructure.”

Despite of the fact that another powerful government entity which investigates deals on national security grounds – the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) – approved the Chinese-led acquisition of CHX last December, the SEC postponed its decision on the deal early this month, pending further review.

The 135-year-old Chicago Stock Exchange, which handles now only 0.5 percent of U.S. stock trading, needs capital to grow. Chongqing Casin, which has interests in real estate and other businesses, would lead a group buying 49.5 percent of CHX. American investors would take the rest.

CHX Chief Executive John Kerin reportedly told the SEC that none of the Chinese buyers are controlled by their government.

“There is nothing frightening about the prospect of a Chinese-led group buying the Chicago Stock Exchange, despite the nervousness being expressed by some officials in Washington,” the Chicago Tribune said.

It added that if approved, the new owners would invest up to 23 million U.S. dollars in CHX. Their strategy calls for the Chicago Stock Exchange to focus on listing emerging growth companies from China and the U.S.

“That’s exciting because as China grows, more companies there will want to sell shares to American investors…and when Chinese firms list on the Chicago Stock Exchange, they may set up offices here and hire Chicago professionals to help manage their businesses. Globalization in action.” said the editorial.

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