AFP – Eleven US legislators are urging regulators to block a Chinese takeover of the niche Chicago Stock Exchange, according to a letter sent Monday.
The letter called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to reject the sale of the small exchange to a group of investors led by the Chinese company Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group (CCEG).
"As you know, the Chinese government dominates all sectors of society and consistently fails to abide by international agreements," they wrote.
And "given the ongoing concerns with the severe lack of transparency in China, we have substantial concerns related to the SEC’s ability to monitor and regulate owners of CCEG," according to the letter signed by Republican and Democratic members of the House.
While foreign owners of a national stock exchanges historically have agreed to fully comply with US laws, CCEG and its foreign affiliates have failed to grant US regulators "power to monitor or regulate their activities" on the Chicago Stock Exchange.
The SEC is expected to announce its decision by August 9.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) — which can block foreign takeovers on national security grounds — already gave the go-ahead to the deal first announced in February 2016.
Founded in 1882, the Chicago Stock Exchange is one of the oldest in the country. It employs 75 people and, according to news reports, handles 0.5 percent of the stock trades in the United States, a market that totals some $22 trillion.
Contacted by AFP, the Chicago Stock Exchange declined to comment.