Deutsche Boerse Will Return to Trading Currencies After 16-Year Break

(Bloomberg) — Deutsche Boerse AG will re-enter currency trading 16 years after the birth of the euro prompted it to withdraw from the market.

Europes largest publicly traded exchange operator bought a minority stake in R5FX Ltd. for an undisclosed sum, according to a statement today. London-based R5FX is developing an electronic platform for buying and selling emerging-market currencies and derivatives. The new venue, which has attracted support from 20 banks, will start operating in March.

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Deutsche Boerses exchange had been a center for trading in the deutsche mark, which the euro replaced starting on Jan. 1, 1999. Currency trading shifted elsewhere, especially London.

The companys return to currencies is part of a diversification strategy thats led to other takeovers. The purchase of an R5FX holding is Deutsche Boerses fourth deal involving a start-up technology business in the last year. It also bought stakes in Impendium Systems Ltd., which automates financial reports; Global Markets Exchange Group International LLP, which is trying to facilitate the shift to exchange trading for derivatives that currently trade through privately negotiated transactions; and electronic fixed-income platform Bondcube Inc.

This is part of the strategy to move into these smaller businesses to take part in these highly innovative companies, Frank Herkenhoff, a Deutsche Boerse spokesman, said in a telephone interview.

The Frankfurt-based companys Eurex subsidiary already offers futures trading on the most popular currency pairs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Will Hadfield in London at To contact the editors responsible for this story:Nick Bakerat