Deutsche Boerse cultivates local ties after LSE deal setback

Author: ReutersWed, 2017-07-19 13:18ID: 1500460366428897700FRANKFURT, Germany: Deutsche Boerse is planning to spruce up the Frankfurt stock exchange, a familiar backdrop for TV broadcasts on the German economy, as part of a push to try to attract more retail investors.Deutsche Boerse is seeking to broaden its appeal and burnish its image following the collapse of a proposed merger with the London Stock Exchange.It is still dealing with the fallout from that deal.Public prosecutors on Tuesday asked Deutsche Boerse to pay fines of €10.5 million ($12.1 million) for failing to notify the public in a timely way about the LSE merger talks and for the design of its executive share-buying scheme. Deutsche Boerse said the allegations are “unfounded in all respects.”Potential refurbishments under discussion by the German exchange operator are an enhanced viewing gallery for visitors and a modernized area to showcase new companies making their debut on the market via initial public offerings, three people with knowledge of the situation said.The changes could bring a little of the New York Stock Exchange-style razzmatazz to Frankfurt, which is seeking to rival London as a financial center after Brexit.The plans also foresee the creation of a venue for events in vacant parts of the building such as the one formerly used for bond trading.The exchange’s 19th century building on Boersenplatz in downtown Frankfurt is often used by TV crews when reporting on German financial news even though actual trading at the exchange, which has roots dating back to 1585, is now mostly done electronically.Deutsche Boerse rents the trading floor areas in the building, which is owned by the Frankfurt am Main Chamber of Commerce and Industry.The company hopes that investing in this landmark will help to spark greater interest among the German public in share trading, startups and IPOs, two of the people said.Later this month, board members will debate details and costs of the investment, one of the people said.Share ownership in Germany was at 14 percent of the population in 2016, according to data from financial industry body Deutsches Aktieninstitut. That compares with 52 percent in the US, according to a Gallup poll.IPO issuance in Germany also lags other major economies. Despite buoyant stock markets, IPOs in Germany so far this year total $1.5 billion, compared with $21 billion in the US, $20 billion in China and $3.2 billion in Britain, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Main category: Business & Economy

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