January 29, 2018 / 11:03 AM / 8 months ago

Deutsche Boerse to invest $23 mln to renovate Frankfurt's old stock exchange

FRANKFURT, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Deutsche Boerse, the German stock exchange operator, will invest 18.5 million euros ($23 million) by 2020 in Frankfurt’s historic stock exchange building, a familiar backdrop for TV broadcasts on German markets and the economy.

The renovation is an effort by Deutsche Boerse, which detailed its plans on Monday, to cultivate local ties after a failed merger last year with London Stock Exchange and part of a push to try to attract more retail investors.

“We are drawing the attention for issuers, institutional investors, private investors and the public more strongly to Frankfurt,” said Chief Executive Officer Theodor Weimer. “This increases the attractiveness of the financial centre and also that of Germany as an economic location.”

Deutsche Boerse plans an expanded visitor centre and a stage to showcase initial public offerings. A room previously used for bond trading will be converted into spaces for conferences and events.

The exchange’s 19th century building on Boersenplatz in downtown Frankfurt is often used by TV crews when reporting on German financial news even though actual trading at the exchange, which has roots dating back to 1585, is now mostly done electronically.

Deutsche Boerse rents the trading floor areas in the building, which is owned by the Frankfurt am Main Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It also announced on Monday that it had extended its rental contract to 2048.

The company hopes that investing in this landmark will help to spark greater interest among the German public in share trading, startups and IPOs. Germany is Europe’s largest economy, but IPO issuance and stock ownership among the public has lagged the United States and Britain.

$1 = 0.8051 euros Reporting by Tom Sims, editing by Louise Heavensd

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