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MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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HKEX eyes tech acquisitions in growth strategy shift mimicking Nasdaq

Takeovers in data, analytics and blockchain rank high in the agenda.

Bloomberg reports that Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. (HKEX) CEO Charles Li is said to be changing tack as he eyes takeovers in the data, analytics and blockchain sectors to boost growth amidst delays in expanding trading links with Mainland exchanges.

Also read: HKEX cracks down on backdoor listings

HKEX has reportedly met with at least three investment banks to discuss potential targets for acquisitions as Li looks at the venture capital arms of CME Group and Nasdaq Inc as possible models. Around 19% of Nasdaq’s revenue came from data products whilst HKEX generated almost all its revenue from clearing and trading fees.

The HKEX earlier announced that it will stall changes that would have otherwise allowed companies to hold shares with more weighted voting rights (WVR). The announcement was made on the grounds that investors need more time to become accustomed to the new guidelines days after Xiaomi, the first WVR firm, made its Hong Kong debut.

“The strategy is in the right direction but it is not easy to achieve the targets,” Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment Corp., told Bloomberg. “HKEX needs to maintain a momentum of growth by exploring new businesses.”

Here’s more from Bloomberg:

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