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Home  >  Fundamental analysis  >  World exchanges  >  DEUTSCHE BORSE


The Frankfurt Stock Exchange or Frankfurter Wertpapierborse (FWB) finds its roots in medieval trade fairs. Already in the 14th century, Frankfurt was a main trading center of Europe where merchants using different currencies eagerly swapped bills of exchange.

By 1585, there was an organized market to set exchange rates and trade bills. By 1605, Frankfurt merchants used the word borse in their trading documentsproof of Bruges influence in emerging capital marketswhile exchange rates were regularly published beginning in 1625 and rules were introduced in 1682. Soon, trading was so active that merchants could no longer meet in public places and moved to the Braunfels building.

Under the umbrella of the Chamber of Commerce, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange became a public-sector utility in 1808, trading mostly government bonds. It grew as a major financial center with the help of Bank Rothschild in the 19th century.

But Germanys defeat to France and its Allies in World War I and the payment of a huge war reparation debt led to hyper-inflation, destroying the countys economy and markets. World War II was another severe blow to German markets but the Frankfurt Stock Exchange regained its role as Germanys main exchange in the 1950s and built its strength through innovations.

Deutsche Borse AG, the new company running the exchange, was formed in 1993 and launched the Xetra electronic trading system in 1997. After a failed attempt to buy the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Borse went public in February 2001. Its subsidiary Clearstream provides clearing and settlement services.

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