Deutsche Boerse Looks to Asia for Expansion, CEO Says

Deutsche Boerse AG said it will focus on Asia for growth this year and that European policy makers should ensure the region remains competitive.

“We will grow above all in Asia,” Reto Francioni, chief executive officer of Deutsche Boerse, said in a speech at the exchange’s New Year’s reception in Frankfurt today. “We have started our journey and been successful in following it. There is scarcely any stock exchange organization in the world with such a presence in Asia as Deutsche Boerse.”

Deutsche Boerse, which is seeking to combat declining trading volumes at home, is focused on expanding in Asia after European regulators blocked its purchase of NYSE Euronext in 2012. Last month, the Frankfurt-based company signed an agreement to help Bank of China Ltd. gain access to European markets. The operator of Eurex and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange has an agreement with the Korea Stock Exchange to trade Kospi Index derivatives outside the local time zone and began a technology partnership with the Bombay Stock Exchange in March.

Francioni added that Europe needs to remain competitive amid an overhaul of the region’s financial-market rulebook. The European Union agreed to increase competition among derivatives exchanges last week.

The new rules include provisions for “non-discriminatory access to trading venues and central counterparties,” which could make it easier for investors to initiate transactions at one exchange and exit them at another. Previously, investors had to buy and sell futures contracts at the same exchange, a process known as the vertical silo model.

Dubious Bureaucracy

“Europe needs to keep an eye on its competitiveness,” Francioni told an audience that included German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. “We in Europe do our best but all too often quarrel over dubious bureaucratic and wrong regulatory hurdles. The U.S. remains a pioneer in many respects, even though specific events in that country also triggered the financial crisis.”

The EU’s bid to revamp its market legislation, known as Mifid, is a centerpiece of the 28-nation bloc’s work to implement agreements reached by the Group of 20 nations in the wake of the turmoil that followed the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

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