Renminbi Forum

FMF Leads Panel at Luxembourg Renminbi Forum

On June 15, 2016, international leaders from governments and the finance industry met for the third Luxembourg Renminbi Forum to discuss the internationalisation of the Chinese currency. Representing Frankfurt Main Finance at the Renminbi Forum, Hubertus Väth led an exciting panel discussion with leading Renminbi experts titled Stock Exchanges – New Role in RMB Internationalisation. Panelists included Kevin Rideout, Managing Director at Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing, Robert Scharfe, CEO Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Tilman Fechter, Executive Director of Sales & Relationship Management, Investment Funds Services at Clearstream, and Jianhong Wu, Board Member at China Europe International Exchange (CEINEX). The panellists explored how European stock exchanges will support the internationalisation and growth of the Renminbi. Several initiatives are already underway, for example CEINEX, the first dedicated trading venue for China- and RMB-related investment products in international markets, was established in Frankfurt in 2015.

You can watch the entire panel discussion in the video below.

Video compliments of Luxembourg for Finance.

FMF at Globalization of FinTech in Korea Symposium

By invitation of the Global FinTech Research Institute in Seoul, Jochen Biedermann gave a keynote at the symposium Globalization of FinTech in Korea. Top-ranking Korean politicians took part in that event. He presented the results of Frankfurt’s FinTech initiative Dialogforum FinTech Frankfurt Rhein-Main and introduced Frankfurt’s new FinTech centre, which will open in October. Furthermore, he motivated next steps in strengthening the FinTech partnership with Korea. Dr Biedermann also visited several Korean FinTech companies and encouraged them to expand their business to Europe via FinTech hub Frankfurt. With Finotek, a leading Korean FinTech company has already a presence in Frankfurt Rhein-Main and will send a representative from August onwards.

In a second keynote, Dr Biedermann spoke about international developments in FinTech and Blockchain at the Korean Computer Congress in Jeju-City.

The next visit of a Korean FinTech delegation to Frankfurt is planned for October.


Frankfurt Main Finance

Brexit Fever – FMF on FINANCE-TV

The votes have been counted and the UK has decided to leave the EU. But how will this decision affect the Financial Centre Frankfurt? Frankfurt Main Finance’s Hubertus Väth sat down with FINANCE-TV to discuss how Brexit will affect European financial centres and what Frankfurt has been doing capitalize on this opportunity. With some experts predicting that 100,000 jobs could leave London’s financial district, there is a lot at stake and Frankfurt Main Finance had all hands on deck in the hours rigth after the announcement. In cooperation with their partners, Frankfurt Economic Development and FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH, Frankfurt Main Finance launched a website,, an information hotline and a social media campaign on LinkedIn and Twitter targeted at decision makers in London’s financial sector. Watch Hubertus Väth’s full interview in the video below (German).


finance industry

CFS Index shows upward trend – Finance industry revenues developing positively

The CFS Index, which measures the condition of the German financial sector on a quarterly basis, rises by 1.6 points to 110.3 points in the second quarter of 2016. The increase is based on the strong development on revenues in the finance industry. Contrary to expectations, however, the earnings performance of the financial institutions remains on a downward trend, while the service providers remain on a steadily positive trend. The investment volume of the finance industry is stable and almost unchanged. The financial institutions are anticipating job cuts in the current quarter; up to now the number of employees has remained stable at a neutral level.

“The survey results prove that a number of financial service providers are in a period of reorganisation, because the pressure on earnings in the industry continues to rise,” Professor Jan Pieter Krahnen, Director of the Center for Financial Studies, comments the results.

Finance industry sees the future international importance of the Financial Centre Germany at a historic high

The future international importance of the Financial Centre Germany reaches a historic high of 136.8 points. Owing to Britain’s potential exit from the EU, the corresponding value rises by 20.7 points.

Dr. Lutz Raettig, Executive Chairman of Frankfurt Main Finance e.V., emphasized, “We all deeply regret the results of the referendum, but naturally, we also respect the outcome. As a consequence, financial centres within the EU will now compete with one another to lure individual product areas and activities out of London. Frankfurt Rhine-Main will certainly be at the centre of this competition, but in a constructive and cooperative manner.

Business volume of the finance industry develops positively – contrast between earnings performance of financial institutions and service providers

The surveyed financial institutions and service providers manage to considerably increase their revenues/business volume again following the poor performance in the first quarter. The corresponding sub-index for the financial institutions rises by 2.7 points to 107.2 points in the second quarter. The service providers raise their revenues by 3.8 points to 120.3 points, which is only slightly below the prior-year level. The finance industry expects to maintain these levels in the current quarter.

In terms of earnings, the financial institutions record a further decline, contrary to their expectations. The corresponding sub-index falls to 96.9 points. However, the service providers reveal steady earnings growth, in spite of negative prior expectations. The earnings sub-index for this group rises by 0.3 points to 113.1 points. The financial institutions expect the low level to persist; the service providers are more optimistic for the current quarter.

The investment volume in product and process innovations of both groups remains at a solid level. The sub-index of the financial institutions falls by 0.2 points to 112.3 points. The service providers’ sub-index falls by 0.1 points to 112.6 points. As such, both groups are at the same level and neither is expecting changes in the current quarter.

Financial institutions anticipating job cuts in third quarter

As for employee numbers, which the financial institutions have so far kept stable at a neutral level of 99.7 points (+0.7 points), a significant decline is expected in the current quarter. The surveyed service providers are maintaining a higher level, with a value of 105.1 points, though they have hired significantly fewer new employees than in the previous quarter. The corresponding sub-index falls by 5.9 points. The service providers are optimistic that this value will improve in the third quarter.


Financial Centre Frankfurt emerges as major winner of Brexit

Germany’s financial industry is in firm agreement that the Financial Centre Frankfurt will profit from a British exit from the EU, although the outcome of the British vote largely came as a surprise to the industry. The potential impacts on the German economy are also regarded as neutral to positive. These were among the results of a survey of financial institutions and service providers in the Financial Centre Germany. Securities trading and settlement in the Financial Centre Frankfurt will receive a particular boost, according to 78% of respondents. Just over half the survey participants believe the European Banking Authority (EBA) will move from London to Frankfurt. Regarding potential shortages in Frankfurt in case of an influx of business, 72% of the surveyed financial firms are concerned about adequate living space.

“The survey results confirm that many financial market participants had not expected the Brexit outcome at all. This surprise effect is reflected in the high level of stock market volatility we can expect to see in the coming months,” Professor Volker Brühl, Managing Director of the Center for Financial Studies, interprets the results.

For almost all companies surveyed (95%), the Financial Centre Frankfurt emerges as the major winner. In addition, just over two thirds see Paris as another beneficiary of a British exit. 15% expect Amsterdam to profit. Just 6% see a positive effect for London. Hardly any respondents expect to see Milan or Madrid benefit, but one third expect positive impacts on other financial centres.

For almost all companies surveyed (95%), the Financial Centre Frankfurt emerges as the major winner. In addition, just over two thirds see Paris as another beneficiary of a British exit. 15% expect Amsterdam to profit. Just 6% see a positive effect for London. Hardly any respondents expect to see Milan or Madrid benefit, but one third expect positive impacts on other financial centres.

“Frankfurt was well prepared for a Brexit. We will make every effort to take advantage of this once in a century chance. It is clear to us that London will maintain its position as the central financial centre. We hope that the Financial Centre Frankfurt will become the bridge between London and the Eurozone,” explained Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance e.V..

When asked in which business areas the Financial Centre Frankfurt could benefit in particular, 78% of respondents pointed to securities trading and settlement. Half the participants see opportunities for the areas of asset management and corporate banking, followed closely by professional services (43%). By contrast, only 7% named retail banking in this regard.

“The results reveal the market participants’ high expectations about the future role of the Financial Centre Frankfurt. Yet other financial centres are also hoping to benefit. I therefore anticipate stiff competition between various locations, so it will be crucial to highlight Frankfurt’s specific strengths to top decision-makers,” adds Professor Brühl.

It is unlikely that the European Banking Authority (EBA) will be able to keep its headquarters in a country outside of the EU. However, it remains to be seen where the EBA will choose as its next location. The majority of the German financial industry (57%) believes the EBA will move to Frankfurt. However, 33% of respondents expect the EBA to relocate to another city.

The German financial industry is also anticipating certain bottle-necks in case business activities shift from London to Frankfurt. Almost three quarters of those surveyed (72%) point to a shortage of living space; half (53%) are concerned about having enough qualified personnel; 27% believe the transport infrastructure may not be sufficient; 22% point to the availability of office space. By contrast, only 11% see Frankfurt’s IT infrastructure as a potential bottle-neck.

Majority of the financial industry in favour of limiting Britain’s access to the EU interior market and expects a Brexit to have neutral to positive impacts on the German economy

In the opinion of most financial institutions and service providers surveyed (68%), the EU should not grant Britain unrestricted access to the EU interior market after a Brexit. By contrast, 22% advocate not introducing any restrictions in spite of a Brexit. Around half the respondents (48%) regard the potential impacts of a Brexit on the German economy as neutral, while 35% see them as positive. Just 15% are anticipating negative impacts.

The results are based on a quarterly management survey of around 400 companies in the German financial sector.
The Center for Financial Studies (CFS) conducts independent and internationally-oriented research in important areas of Financial and Monetary Economics, ranging from Monetary Policy and Financial Stability, Household Finance and Retail Banking to Corporate Finance and Financial Markets. CFS is also a contributor to policy debates and policy analyses, building upon relevant findings in its research areas. In providing a platform for research and policy advice, CFS relies on its international network among academics, the financial industry and central banks in Europe and beyond.

Dr. Dombret, Deutsche Bundesbank: “Banks face immediate economic consequences”

In his keynote address at the Goethe University’s Center for Financial Studies on July 13, 2016, Dr. Andreas Dombret, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank (German National Bank), explained what the Brexit means for European banks. Although the conditions of the UK’s exit have yet to be negotiated, Dr. Dombret made three key conclusions:

  • Financial institutions have to prepare for a scenario in which euro-denominated trading and clearing is unlikely to have a future outside the EU.
  • Regarding the merger between Deutsche Börse and London Stock Exchange, the referendum outcome has even strengthened the economic rationale. But in order to reap the benefits, contracting partners should now invest in a well-balanced governance structure.
  • Financial actors in Europe have so far succeeded in digesting the somewhat surprising referendum result. Even ongoing volatility should not serve as an excuse to bypass the pillars of financial stability we have only just set up in the EU.

Additionally, Dr. Dombret lamented the loss of his British colleagues, explaining, “I –probably speaking for most, if not for all of my German colleagues – will greatly miss our British counterparts in European institutions; not at least because of their orientation towards stability and free market economy. But, fortunately, as central bankers, we will continue our collaboration at many other levels such as the G7, the G20, the IMF and the BIS.”

A full transcript of Dr. Dombret’s keynote address is available here.

Photo Credit: Deutsche Bundesbank / Frank Rumpenhorst

153 Concerts at the 29th Rheingau Music Festival

One concert series always receives worldwide attention: the 29th Rheingau Music Festival will take place from July 18 to August 27, 2016, and includes 153 concerts at more than 40 venues across the Rheingau and neighbouring regions. The main event locations are Kloster Eberbach, Schloss Johannisberg, Schloss Vollrads and the Kurhaus in Wiesbaden. Additional venues include numerous churches, castles, and vineyards. Amongst them are concerts in the St. Hildegard Abbey and the Haus der Begegnung in Königsstein. New venues for this year include the Church of the Redeemer in Bad Homburg, the Malakoff Terrace in Mainz, the Park surrounding the Parkhotel Tillmanns in EltvilleErbach and the J. Neus Vineyard in Ingelheim.

This summer’s performances will include outstanding soloists and ensembles like Isabelle Faust, Till Brönner, Yannik Nézet-Séguin, Lisa Batiashvili, Grigory Sokolov, Igor Levit, Paavo Järvi, Mark Padmore, Jan Lisiecki, Annette Dasch, Max Mutzke, Julia Fischer, Daniel Müller-Schott, Alina Pogostkina, Philippe Jaroussky, Dominique Horwitz, Alexej Gorlatch, Hélène Grimaud, Christian Gerhaher, Gautier Capuçon, Klaus Hoffmann, Magali Mosnier, Maurizio Pollini, Sir András Schiff, Belcea Quartet, Simone Kermes, Daniil Trifonov, Götz Alsmann, Alban Gerhardt, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Hilary Hahn, Berliner Philharmoniker, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Prager Symphoniker, Choir of the King’s Consort, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Tschechische Philharmonie and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

Additional information can be found at

Photo Credit: FriedrichvonThiersch Saal_Kurhaus Wiesbaden(C)AKM.JPG / Rheingau Music Festival Konzertgesellschaft mbH

A Musical World Record in Frankfurt am Main

Music fills the air and a world record is set. Thousands of excited guests waited in anticipation for the official announcement that they had achieved a word record. 7,548 musicians came together to play in Frankfurt’s Commerzbank Arena where an official representative from the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed the event as the largest orchestra in the world. Musicians played together for more than five minutes, including excerpts from Dvorak and Beethoven. The previous record was held by Brisbane, Australia where 7,224 musicians played together – 324 fewer than in Frankfurt. Professionals and amateurs alike were welcome to join and show their appreciation for music and its power to connect people. The event is another great example of the Main Metropolis’s diversity.

Photo Credit: Commerzbank-Arena/Axel Gross



World Club Dome

World Club Dome – biggest club in the world in Frankfurt am Main

For the fourth time, BigCityBeats hosted World Club Dome and transformed the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt into the biggest club in the world. Over the first weekend in June, hundreds of DJs and artists performed for the crowd of more than 130,000 on 20 stages covering the immense 700,000 m² festival area. Headlining the opening night on the Arena’s main stage, Armin van Buuren and David Guetta made it clear that Frankfurt does not just work hard, but plays hard as well. Top acts this year included Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Oliver Heldens, Steve Aoki and Frankfurt’s own Sven Väth. New to the festival this year was the giant WCD Pool Sessions party. In addition, some lucky attendees traveled to the festival in the world’s highest disco. A Boeing 747 outfitted as a disco at 10,000 meters flew festival goers from London, Paris and Hamburg to Frankfurt accompanied by the electronic dance stylings of DJ Robin Schulz.



Mainova IRONMAN European Championship 2016

The super endurance challenge begins with a 3.8 km swim followed by a 180 km bike race. These two events are then topped off with a marathon race! Every summer the world’s best come to Frankfurt to compete in the world’s largest IRONMAN qualification. More than 2,300 participants from over 60 nations and 100,000 spectators along the route make the IRONMAN an international festival.  The 2016 race also marked the 15-year anniversary of the event in Frankfurt.

This year, Melissa Hauschildt of Australia beat out three German competitors to win the women’s triathlon. Among the men, Sebastian Kniele took first followed closely by Andreas Böcherer.

The date is already set for 2017’s race. World class athletes will set out on a new adventure on July 9, 2017.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Ironman / 2015 Getty Images