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Manchin spearheaded a letter to the SEC's chairman Jay Clayton and commissioners Kara M. Stein and Michael S. Piwowar, in which the West Virginia Democrat up for re-election this year called for them to reject the proposed sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange to Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group (CCEG), a group that includes USA and Chinese investors.

President Trump harshly criticized the proposed deal during his campaign, calling it an example of wealth leaving the United States. The deal had been recommended for approval by the S.E.C. staff, but was delayed by the chairman, Jay Clayton, a Republican and a Trump appointee.

In joint letter to the SEC US lawmakers had severely criticised the deal, arguing that it would give the Chinese government access to US financial markets and questioned the SEC's ability to regulate and monitor foreign owners.

Under the proposal, the Chinese-led North America Casin Holdings group aimed to purchase a minority share of the CHX. CHX would not comment Thursday after the announcement of the final decision.

In the most recent signs of continued friction, Beijing in early February launched an investigation of anti-dumping into sorghum shipments from the U.S. following the U.S. Department of Commerce's self-initiated dumping probe of the aluminum imports from China last November.

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"By disapproving the transaction, the SEC has denied the American public an historic and unprecedented opportunity to build a mutually beneficial economic bridge between the world's largest economies, while unfairly disadvantaging our company and shareholders", the exchange said.

The commission said it did not consider broader criticisms of the deal's potential impact on market security or whether Chongqing Casin had ties to the Chinese government. "Accordingly, it is not necessary for us to consider either the relevance of such foreign investment concerns to our statutory review of this proposed rule change or the merits of the concerns themselves". The decision comes after more than two years of reviews by officials. The regulator said this "raises significant doubts" that it would be able to monitor the exchange if the deal went through.

The Chicago Stock Exchange, in a blog post Friday, said it was disappointed with the decision.

The exchange competes against the New York Stock Exchange and its three affiliated exchanges, all owned by Intercontinental Exchange, and Nasdaq and Cboe Global Markets, both of which own four U.S. stock exchanges.


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