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Two Chinese firms bidding for Chicago Exchange withdraw - WSJ

Oct 13 (Reuters) - Two Chinese investors, vying for a piece of the Chicago Stock Exchange, withdrew in the past two weeks, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sought more details from the participants about their bid, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Chongqing Jintian Industrial Co Ltd and Chongqing Longshang Decoration Co Ltd had agreed to invest about $8 million as part of a consortium that offered up to $25 million, according to the report. (http://on.wsj.com/2yIzJjr)

The firms' managers dropped out as they felt abused by political criticism of the deal in Congress and the slow progress of approval at the SEC, the WSJ reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Chicago exchange plans to file records with the SEC disclosing the investors' exit as soon as next week, according to the report.

However, CHX Holdings Inc, the parent of the Chicago Stock Exchange, could recruit new American investors to replace the lost funding, the Journal said.

A Chicago Stock Exchange spokesman and the SEC declined to comment.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which scrutinizes deals for potential national security concerns, approved the planned sale in December, prior to President Donald Trump taking office.

The proposed sale of the privately owned exchange for an undisclosed amount to a consortium led by Chinese conglomerate Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group has drawn criticism from U.S. lawmakers, who questioned the U.S. SEC's ability to regulate and monitor the foreign buyers if the deal is approved.

In August, the SEC put on hold a decision approving the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange, giving the regulator more time to mull the politically sensitive deal.

With a market share of less than 0.5 percent, Chicago Stock Exchange is a niche player in the U.S. stock market, where it competes against 12 other exchanges including Intercontinental Exchange Inc's New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Inc . (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)