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Marketplaces

Floor Trading at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
Spezialisten-Handel auf dem Frankfurter Parkett
 

Floor trading takes place on the floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. However, access to the trading floor is not available to the general public but to authorized trading participants, who buy and sell securities on behalf of their customers.

The view from the Visitors Gallery of the Frankfurt trading floor shows specialists’ desks in front of the DAX board backdrop, a view that many private investors relate directly to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Very few know that the largest part of trading takes place somewhere else.

In fact, the electronic trading system Xetra® has increasingly replaced broker supported floor trading. Large domestic shares as well as ETFs, for instance, are traded primarily through Xetra. However, order in less liquid securities, smaller cap shares, foreign shares, investment funds and almost all bonds are still traded on the Frankfurter floor. Moreover, early trading from 8 to 9 a.m. and after the closing of trade on Xetra at 5.30 p.m. late trading in all securities takes places exclusively on the floor.

However, not only the volumes, but also the processes in floor trading have changed a lot in recent years.

Until 2002, official exchange brokers used to sit at the floors' desks. They were admitted to the floor by the Exchange Supervisory Authority and usually matched the buyers and sellers on the floor by open outcries. Since the 4th Financial Markets Promotion Act came into effect in July 2002, lead brokers have been calculating the prices of the securities allocated to them.

Between 2002 and 2011 floor trading was supported by lead brokers (Skontroführer) on a system called Xontro. This meant that market participants no longer had to come to the trading floor, but make their deals from special trading rooms from within their banks.

Since 2011 specialists offer quotes and supervise executed trades while price fixing is automatically done in Xetra.