Hong Kong Exchanges confirms London Metal Exchange interest

The owner of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has said that it is one of a number of firms bidding for the London Metal Exchange (LME).

The LME, the world's biggest market for the trading of metals, invited bids late last year.

Hong Kong Exchanges, which wants to expand into commodities trading, confirmed it was part of that process.

Its interest in LME and efforts to raise finance for a possible bid have been rumoured for several weeks.

The LME said in September that it was considering future strategy "either as a fully resourced and strong, independent entity or as part of a larger group".

Hong Kong Exchanges "continues to participate in that process and understands it is one of a number of interested parties studying this opportunity", its board said in a statement.

Analysts said a tie-up would make sense, as the Hong Kong firm is keen to expand into trading commodities due to the huge demand in China.

Commodities are generally basic raw materials, such as crude oil or aluminium, which are traded on markets.

Last year, the value of metals traded on the London exchange hit a new record of $15.4tn (£9.5tn), almost a third higher than a year earlier.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Monday 7 May.

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