Down And Out In Frankfurt

The Neuer Markt's woes include a tech-stock slump, management wrangles, and fierce rivalry from London

Oct. 9 was a bad day for tech shares around the world. But it was particularly grim on Frankfurt's Neuer Markt. The high-tech market's benchmark, the Nemax All-Share index, closed down almost 5% that day, as investors dumped the Internet, biotech, and software stocks that make up the lion's share of the young exchange's 321 listed companies. At one point, the All-Share was down nearly 7%, as retail investors, who account for just over half the volume, panicked. "Everyone wanted out," recalls an official at ConSors Discount Broker, Germany's largest online broker. "Sell orders were flooding through our computers." The previous trading session, Oct. 6, had also been a rout.

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