IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) and Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (HKEx) are set to go head-to-head in the race to acquire the London Metal Exchange (LME) after the Chicago Mercantile Exchange followed Nyse Euronext in being eliminated from the bidding for the 140-year old metals market.
The CME is believed to have been knocked out of the running having laid a £1.05 million bid on the table. Nyse Euronext was shown the exit last month after tabling an £800 million offer.
ICE and HKEx are understood to have offered closer to £1.2 billion for the LME, and both exchanges hold out the promise of expansion into emerging metals markets in Asia and China.
In a statement, the LME says it will continue discussions with the two parties regarding their acquasition plans: "This will involve obtaining a detailed understanding of their plans for the future governance and operation of the market and the deliverability of their respective proposals, as well as the value offered. This process will continue over the coming weeks and shareholders will be provided with further information as appropriate."