BEIJING -  Three of China's financial market operators intend to buy jointly a combined stake of up to 40 percent in the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), a source with close knowledge of the potential deal told China Daily.

The source, who is with the Shanghai Stock Exchange, said the SSE and two other bourses in China have submitted a letter of intent to the PSX, the source said. It was reported in early October that the SSE had submitted a letter of intent to buy the stake in the PSX, after the latter reached out to some bourses seeking strategic investors in July.

The PSX has received letters of intent from some of the exchanges, including one from an exchange in the Middle East, according to a report in Nikkei Asian News. The source with the SSE told China Daily that the acquisition attempt is still undergoing procedures and more details will be disclosed jointly by the three buyers at an "appropriate time," if the acquisition is successful.

The acquisition, if successful, would be the first by Chinese bourses of a foreign stock exchange. China's news and business social media platform reported on Wednesday that the three operators, namely the SSE, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and the Shanghai-based China Financial Futures Exchange, would like to buy stakes in the PSX, but the three operators declined to comment on the acquisition at the current stage.

A Shenzhen Stock Exchange source told China Daily that "there is nothing I can say about this deal at the current stage." The PSX was formed in January by consolidating the Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad stock exchanges.