December 27, 2019 / 9:55 AM / 25 days ago

UPDATE 1-LSE's Borsa Italiana is not up for sale -LSE board member to paper

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By Elisa Anzolin

MILAN, Dec 27 (Reuters) - London Stock Exchange does not plan to shed any assets after its deal with Refinitiv and considers its subsidiary Borsa Italiana strategic, LSE board member and Borsa Italiana CEO Raffaele Jerusalmi told newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore on Friday.

Last month London Stock Exchange (LSE) agreed to buy data provider Refinitiv for $27 billion, triggering speculation about the possible sale of assets to gain antitrust approval and to fund the deal.

One suitor possibly interested in Borsa Italiana could be European stock market operator Euronext, Italian newspapers speculated some weeks ago.

"Euronext repeatedly said it was interested in having Borsa Italiana in its network, but Borsa Italiana is not up for sale," Jerusalmi said.

"Borsa Italiana is a strategic asset for the London Stock Exchange group, which wants to keep investing in Italy."

The tie-up between LSE and Refinitiv has also raised questions in Italy regarding the future of MTS, a government bond trading platform originally set up by the Italian Treasury and the country's central bank to trade the country's debt.

Jerusalmi said that LSE did not currently plan to merge the MTS bond platform, which is controlled by Borsa Italiana, with Refinitiv's majority-owned electronic platform Tradeweb.

The Italian Treasury considers MTS crucial for the country, the Treasury's Director General Alessandro Rivera told Reuters earlier this year.

Italy has the second-biggest public debt to gross domestic product ratio in the euro zone and MTS was created to allow smooth trading of its government bonds. (Editing by Jason Neely)

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