Frankfurt Stock Exchange
|Frankfurt Stock Exchange|
|Key People||Hauke Stars, Chairperson: Martin Reck, Deputy Chairperson|
Note*: In German, the Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse is referred to as the FWB
The earliest roots of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange arose from the period of medieval fairs. The first fair mentioned in writings was during the Assumption holiday in the year 1150.
Autumn fairs were believed to have their origins in the 11th century as harvest fairs. From 1330 on, fairs were expanded to include a spring fair as well by Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian.
Trading activity during these fairs then developed into orders for the manufacture of goods and this helped develop an open and nationwide market.
Frankfurt grew as a commerce and banking center during the sixteenth century as Dutch and French merchants immigrated to German to avoid persecution for their religious beliefs. Martin Luther called Frankfurt the city “the silver and gold hole” of the German Empire as merchants from all over the world came to Frankfurt to engage in trade.
The birth of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is tied to a fair in 1585 when merchants met to establish uniform exchange rates. With no single European currency, payments for goods in Frankfurt were based on a large variety of coins. The uniform rates fought the usury and swindles seen in currency exchange transactions.
It was September 9, 1585 when that agreement for uniform rates was set. A group of merchants would meet at the fair periodically to update the uniform and binding exchange rates for transactions in notes and coins. The first time the word Burs or Börse was used was in 1605 in writing for the designation of the periodic update meeting.
Quotations for twelve denominations of currencies were listed on official quotations sheets. The first one of these appeared in 1625.
The oldest quotations sheet from the Frankfurt exchange that still exists dates from the year 1721. The exchange rate for 16 coinage types were listed.
The original meetings were held in an open field in front of the Frankfurt town hall. In 1694, traders moved to the Großer Braunfels building at the Liebfrauenberg, thereby selecting the city's most important and spacious building as their fixed meeting place.
It was in 1666 that the first exchange rules and regulations were enacted, which led to the establishment of an official stock exchange administration. At first, only trading in bills of exchange was allowed on the Frankfurt exchange.
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