The Hong Kong stock exchange HKEX unexpectedly offered 31.6 billion pounds (28.6 billion euros) for the London stock exchange, the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The Hong Kong exchange wants to "combine the two companies" with the proposal, HKEX reports in a press release on Wednesday. A deal would redefine the global capital markets in the coming decades, said Charles Li, CEO of HKEX.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange emphasizes its desire to strengthen the financial center of London in the long term. This comes at a time when many politicians are concerned about the position of the sector, which is uncertain due to the upcoming Brexit.

The announcement follows shortly after the purchase of financial data company Refinitiv by the London stock exchange. The purpose of the stock market was to become a global player that could compete with the financial services provider Bloomberg LP.

A spokesperson for LSE declined to comment on the message.