London Stock Exchange on track to close Refinitiv deal as income jumps

The London Stock Exchange Group (LSE.L) said on Friday it would complete its $27 billion takeover of analytics company Refinitiv on time this year as it reported higher-than-expected annual income, driven a jump in clearing activity.

“We remain on track to close the (Refinitiv) transaction in the second half of this year,” said David Schwimmer, the former Goldman Sachs (GS.N) veteran who took over the reins at the LSE in 2018.

The Financial Times report earlier this week that the deal is facing intense early scrutiny in Brussels, raising the risk that regulators will subject the deal to a much lengthier probe than expected.

Refinitiv is 45%-owned by Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO), which owns Reuters News.

The exchange said total income from continuing operations rose 8% to 2.314 billion pounds ($3.01 billion) in the year ended Dec. 31.

Analysts had expected total income of 2.308 billion pounds according to company supplied estimates from 13 analysts.

Total revenue also rose 8% to 2.07 billion pounds, ahead of estimates.

The exchange’s post trade services unit, which includes clearer LCH, settlement and custody activities, reported a 15% rise in revenue.

Growth at LCH comes as Brexit and other tailwinds is helping Frankfurt build stronger momentum this year to attract more euro clearing from London, while France is also looking at ways to lure clearing in euro swaps away from London to the European Union.

The LSE said it has an application to the European Union for LCH to continue serving customers in the bloc after Britain’s “standstill” transition period expires in December.

The exchange said it also expects its listings link to the Shanghai exchange “to take a while to build” up activity.

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