The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

London stock exchange - Now for the details...

The news of an alliance between the sleepy London Stock Exchange and the Deutsche Börse, its biggest European rival, surprised the market. Eventually the partners hope to bring in other bourses. That pleased the Dutch but the French felt slighted - they'd been courting the Germans too. The devil will be in the detail: the Germans let slip that they thought their settlement system would win out, much to the chagrin of London's CrestCo and the LSE's derivatives counterpart Liffe. So will it be London-on-the-Main or Frankfurt an der Themse? Antony Currie reports.

Sets on the brain

An emasculated former gentlemen's club, uncommunicative, uncooperative, dictatorial, slow to act and react, with a talent for wasting money and shooting itself in the foot: that's the common market view of the London Stock Exchange. The exchange rarely attracts positive comments even though its market capitalization, £1.25 trillion, it is more than twice the size of Deutsche Börse. It does, however, have some advantages over these bourses: English is finance's lingua franca, the City of London is Europe's major financial centre, and the LSE has a longer history of equities listing and trading. But these are hardly the result of recent hard work by the exchange's officials and members.

Nor, until last month's sudden announcement of a joint venture with the Deutsche Börse, did many observers expect that anything would change soon. As with derivatives counterpart Liffe, the LSE appeared to be fighting a rear-guard battle to maintain its historical role as the leader in its field in Europe. And, as with Liffe, it was losing out to seemingly more dynamic, successful continental European exchanges. These were also the exchanges that were making the most noise about cooperating in preparation for European monetary union.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree