German exchange operator Deutsche Börse is planning to shed part of its workforce across the group, including derivatives bourse Eurex and post-trade business Clearstream.
TheTRADEnews.com understands that an announcement is due to be made about the job losses in mid-February, although it is not yet clear how many staff will be affected. News reports have suggested cuts of 10% or 300 of Deutsche Börse’s 3,300 positions.
The move follows a restructuring plan in 2007 when 200 Clearstream staff in Germany and Luxembourg were relocated to Prague.
The exchange refused to comment on the potential job losses. “As part of our policy Deutsche Börse AG generally does not comment on rumours. The company has no announcement to make,” read a statement from the company. “We are firmly committed to Clearstream Banking AG in Frankfurt and to Clearstream Banking SA in Luxembourg and will continue to support our German and our international business from both centres.”
Like other European exchanges, Deutsche Börse faced difficult market conditions in 2009, including lower trading volumes and increasing competition from alternative trading platforms.
The exchange’s cash market turnover was €1.14 trillion in 2009 – 50% down on 2008’s €2.26 trillion. Total trading volume on Eurex, jointly operated Deutsche Börse and SIX Swiss Exchange, fell to 2.65 billion contracts in 2009 from 3.17 billion in 2008.
Deutsche Börse’s profit for the first nine months of 2009 was €529.1 million, 34.8% down on the €810.9 million profit it made in the same period of 2008. The group plans to release preliminary results for the full year of 2009 on 17 February.
The firm expects to book a non-cash impairment charge of €420 million relating to the intangible value of the International Securities Exchange, the US equity options exchange acquired by Eurex in 2008. Deutsche Börse attributed the impairment to stagnation of the US equity options market in 2009 and reduced revenues at ISE. The charge will have a net impact of €200 million on the exchange group’s 2009 net income.