The company that owns Hong Kong's main stock exchange has made a £32bn bid to buy its rival in London.
Shares in the London Stock Exchange Group surged by more than 15% after the offer was announced.
But it wants the LSE scrap its planned purchase of a data firm Refinitiv.
"The board of HKEX believes that the two businesses are highly complementary and as such, looks forward to working with the relevant authorities to deliver a clear path to completion", the HKEX said. The UK company's stock rose 6.2 per cent to 7,190 pence on Wednesday at 10.54 am in London, after earlier surging as much as 16 per cent.
"It's a bold move and one that appears to have a low chance of success".
The Hong Kong company said a deal would create a combined group "ideally positioned to benefit from the evolving global macroeconomic landscape, connecting the established financial markets in the West with the emerging financial markets in the East, particularly in China". As such, and not surprisingly, it will throw out a number of questions rather than answers at this stage'.
An HKEX-LSE pact would put an end to the Refinitiv purchase, instead creating a global trading power that would have stock, derivatives and commodities exchanges, as well as clearinghouses across two continents. It may also be that the likes of the New York Stock Exchange will be looking on with interest'. "This is quite apart from the political questions it raises, both in terms of the history between the two 'countries", as well as how an East-West tie-up might be seen in the eyes of the United States, given the current economic situation'.
In short, Hunter said the proposal was "a fascinating prospect, but far from a done deal".
Shares in LSE, which were trading more than 17 percent higher in reaction to the news at 0834 GMT, were trading 4.5 percent higher at 1010 GMT.