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Report: US committee OKs Chinese-led group's purchase of Chicago Stock Exchange

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., an inter-agency committee housed in the Treasury Department, has approved the takeover of the Chicago Stock Exchange Inc. by a group of investors led by a Chinese company, Reuters reported Dec. 14, citing internal Treasury documents.

The committee exists to scrutinize deals for any potential national security concerns. The Chinese company, Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group, is a large holding company that invests in financial services.

The exchange announced in February that it would be acquired by the group. The day after the announcement, U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, R.-N.C., wrote a letter to the committee asking for an investigation into the deal, which he wrote could give a company that may be influenced by the Chinese government direct access to the U.S. equity market; 45 members of Congress signed the letter.

The committee's approval of the deal comes during a period of tension in Sino-American relations. President-elect Donald Trump accepted a congratulatory call from Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, earlier in December, making for the first direct diplomatic contact with the island in decades. The U.S. has not communicated with Taiwan, which considers itself independent but which mainland China views as a province, since 1979.

Chicago Stock Exchange told Reuters in a statement that it is "pleased" the committee found no security concerns with the deal.