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London Stock Exchange plans to sell off French regulated clearing partner LCH SA

By Ben Woods

The London Stock Exchange Group said it is looking to sell the French clearing arm of LCH to Euronext NV in a bid to drive through its £21bn tie-up with Deutsche Borse.

LSE Group said it was exploring the sale of LCH SA to the European exchanges operator as it looks to see off anti-trust concerns raised by the European Commission over the mega-merger.

However, it said there could be no certainty that the talks would lead to a transaction taking place.

The move comes after the LSE Group announced last week that it had received a statement of objections from the European Commission over its proposed merger, but it reflected "a narrower scope of issues".

Following the UK's shock decision to quit the European Union, LSE and Germany's Deutsche Borse have moved quickly to assuage any fears that the referendum result would scupper the deal.

Details of the merger, released before the Brexit vote in June, showed that the combined entity aims to make €250m (£210m) in annual cost savings after five years, in addition to the €450m (£377m) already flagged, and shed 1,250 jobs.

However, the two exchanges also believe that 550 new roles can be created as a result of the tie-up.

LSE Group saw its shares rise 23p to 2,812p after the announcement.

In September the London Stock Exchange announced it was exploring the sale of LCH SA in anticipation of concerns around clearing from the EU competition regulator.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 yesterday were Carnival up 122p at 4,145p, Barclays up 5.6p at 227.65p, Lloyds Banking Group up 1.39p at 63.94p, and Prudential up 32.5p at 1,592.5p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Hikma Pharmaceuticals down 42p at 1,819p, Fresnillo down 23p at 1,091p, Randgold Resources down 70p at 5,635p, Croda International down 39p at 3,169p.

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