Feb. 16 (UPI) -- After a review that lasted for more than two years, the top U.S. financial regulatory agency barred a Chinese-led group of investors from purchasing the Chicago Stock Exchange.
The deal would have allowed the Chinese-led group, North America Casin Holdings, to buy a minority share of the privately-owned exchange.
Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission released a report expressing concerns about the proposal -- asking whether the exchange could be supervised properly.
"The Commission's review of the information before it ... leads us to conclude that Chicago Stock Exchange has not met its burden to demonstrate that the proposed rule change is consistent with the Exchange Act," the SEC report said.
"The Commission does not find ... that the proposed rule change ... is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act," the SEC said in its conclusion.
The landmark Securities Exchange Act of 1934 governs secondary trading of securities -- stocks, bonds, and debentures -- in the United States, and provides the basis for government oversight of U.S. financial markets.
"The Exchange Act requires that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed, in general, to protect investors and the public interest," it added. "We cannot determine that the rules, as proposed, meet this requirement."
The U.S. agency said there are unresolved questions about whether the proposed new ownership structure would comply with ownership and voting limitations.
Last summer, 11 members of Congress sent a letter to the SEC urging a denial of the purchase -- with particular concerns about a "severe lack of transparency in China," which they said would make it difficult for the committee to "prevent undue influence or control over a national securities exchange."