Frankfurt Stock Exchange
The roots of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange may be traced back to the period of medieval fairs. As early as the middle of the ninth century, Emperor Ludwig, the German King granted the city of Frankfurt the preferential right to hold an annual autumn fair. Since the year 1330, when Emperor Ludwig expanded this privilege to include a spring fair as well, the city became an important center for commercial and monetary transactions. As a result of the trading occurring during the fair, the goods manufactured against specific customer orders gradually developed into merchandise production for an open and nationwide sales market.
Industrial Revolution in Germany brought to light the advantage of financing costly projects through share issues. The first share issue - a participating certificate of the Österreichische National Bank - was traded in Frankfurt way back in 1820.
Following the collapse of the Nazi regime in 1945, the stock exchange remained initially closed for half a year. Nevertheless, it was again reopened in September 1945 as one of the first German stock exchanges.
It was only following the currency reforms of 1948 and the growing consolidation of the German economy that the Frankfurt Stock Exchange gradually recovered its old significance. Beginning in 1956, the purchase of foreign securities was again permitted in Germany. Frankfurt could accordingly return to its tradition of international business, again occupying the top position in Germany.
The stock exchanges played an important role as capital intermediaries for the country's post-war reconstruction.
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange has continuously taken the prevailing economic needs and developments of the country into account in recent decades. For example, the first central transaction via computer in Germany was booked in Frankfurt in 1969. The Frankfurt Stock Exchange developed the DAX share index, which was launched in 1988 and is today one of the world's most important share indices. In 1993, the newly established Deutsche Börse AG assumed sponsorship of the public sector Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In order to create an appropriate trading environment - in particular for young, rapidly growing and future-oriented industries such as telecommunications, biotechnology, multimedia, and environmental technology - on March 10, 1997 the "Neuer Markt" was opened as a new trading segment on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In view of the great importance of international trading, in November 1997 the new Xetra® Electronic Trading System was introduced for German and cross-border securities trading in Frankfurt. With Xetra, market participants were able to deal in about 20,000 securities from anywhere in the world. In November 1998, Gruppe Deutsche Börse laid the foundation stone for a new stock exchange building.