(Adds more comments, HKEX CEO)
LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (HKEX) said it was "thinking big" in its $39 billion bid for the London Stock Exchange, but LSE CEO David Schwimmer said he was sticking with his $27 billion acquisition of data and analytics company Refinitiv.
After LSE rebuffed its offer, HKEX is now directly appealing to LSE shareholders and has until Oct. 9 to decide if it should go hostile.
HKEX has said that the LSE must ditch its bid for Refinitiv for its offer to go ahead. Thomson Reuters, a professional information company that is the parent of Reuters News, holds a 45% stake in Refinitiv.
But Schwimmer said that buying Refintiv bolsters the LSE's position in a growing data market and broadens assets traded to include foreign exchange and fixed income.
"The Refinitiv transaction does that, and does it very well," Schwimmer said.
Li said the timing for its bid for the LSE was not good, but it was a case of "now "or never" as the London bourse offered an opportunity for HKEX to become a more global company.
"Now is the time to think big, when the world is polarising to the east and west, it is time to become global," Li told the Sibos conference.
"Together we can unlock the last frontier."
Several "big bang" exchange mergers have failed in recent years, opposed by politicians and regulators.
Li said that although HKEX's bid for the LSE is "disruptive and unusual", it would bring the huge Chinese market and the West together.
Unlike previous big merger attempts, the deal is not about cost savings, Li said. (Reporting by Huw Jones and Clara Denina; editing by Jason Neely and Alexander Smith)