Hamburg Stock Exchange

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Hamburg Stock Exchange

legal form Exchange cluster sponsored by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce
founding 1558
Seat Hamburg , GermanyGermanyGermany 
management Gabriele Rose, Jörn Le Cerf
Branch Exchanges

Building of the stock exchange and chamber of commerce on Adolphsplatz
Price board in the stock exchange (2004)
The old stock exchange on Nikolaifleet (around 1735), to the left of it scales (with Commerzdeputation ) and crane, to the right the buildings of the old town hall on the Trostbrücke

The Hamburg Stock Exchange is a stock exchange founded in 1558 with headquarters in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg . It is the oldest active exchange in Germany. Today there are four different individual exchanges under its roof.

These include the Hanseatic Stock Exchange , the oldest of the eight active stock exchanges in Germany. On January 1, 1999, the associations of the stock exchanges in Hamburg and Hanover merged to form the joint sponsoring company BÖAG Börsen AG .

In addition to the differently structured and much larger insurance market Lloyd's of London, the Hamburg Insurance Exchange is the only exchange marketplace for insurance companies worldwide and the only floor exchange in Hamburg with daily floor trading . Of the commodity exchanges and commodity futures exchanges , the grain exchange is still important for price quotations and as a competence center for the grain trade, while only the building of the former coffee exchange still exists. The individual exchanges emerged from the Hamburger Allgemeine Börse, which is now mainly used by the Hamburg real estate industry.

New exchange

The late classicist building on Adolphsplatz is also known as the Hamburg Stock Exchange or just the stock exchange . The rear side is connected to the Hamburg City Hall and its inner courtyard, the so-called Ehrenhof. After a long planning period, this new stock exchange was acquired by the Hamburg stock exchange on December 2, 1841. The building is also the seat of the Chamber of Commerce and its Commerzbibliothek , but only houses three of the individual stock exchanges, since the branch of the stock exchange moved into new premises on Rathausmarkt at the end of 2005 .


Until the 16th century, Hamburg merchants mostly met at the old Alsterhafen , in a square surrounded by other market traders, to do business or to exchange information. In 1517 the council gave the merchants the right to elect a board of directors. The Association of a Gemeenen Kopmann , the later Assembly of an Honorable Merchant in Hamburg , was created to represent the interests of the merchants. The initiative to set up an exchange goes back to this. Above all, it was the merchants engaged in maritime trade who wanted a permanent trading place as a meeting place for local and foreign merchants, based on the model of the stock exchange they already knew from Antwerp . In 1558, the Hamburg council finally made a 400 square meter area available as a stock exchange at the previous meeting point on the Trostbrücke (already named as the money changers' place in 1266) opposite the former town hall.

Goods were mainly traded on the fenced-in square, which was expanded to include the stock exchange building from 1577 to 1583, with English cloth playing an important role in Hamburg. From the beginning, the Hamburg Stock Exchange was a general stock exchange, where all kinds of wholesale transactions, money and exchange transactions, insurance and freight transactions as well as transactions in securities , which later acquired greater importance, are concluded.

Stock exchange trading became more regulated in the 17th century. The first brokers acted as intermediaries among the merchants, and the newly established Commerz deputation was given its domicile right next to the stock exchange . Trade also increased. Uniform terms and conditions were agreed that determined the quantity and quality of the individual goods. The trade in goods and samples brought along decreased, instead the securities trade increased and was even banned by the Senate for some time in 1720 because it disapproved of the "share fever".

At the beginning of the 18th century, 600 people met at the stock exchange, and around 1830 the daily average was 4000 visitors. After stock exchange trading had continued to gain in importance and the merchants had to move to the adjacent streets more and more frequently during trading hours due to a lack of space, the Commerz deputation presented the Senate in 1821 with a plan to build a new stock exchange, which was completed and occupied in December 1841 . This building also had to be expanded several times. Even in these early years Hamburg's trade had to endure some economic crises , the French era and the Great Fire , before the stock exchange was closed for six weeks after the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 and trading collapsed afterwards.

Troubled times and a collapse in the share price in 1927 as well as the global economic crisis led to the temporary closure of the markets in 1931. In 1933 the stock exchange lost its independence during the Nazi era . 1951 trading in stocks and shares was resumed. After the renewed boom in the first decades after the Second World War , floor trading decreased more and more in line with technical developments before it was discontinued in the securities area in favor of computer trading . However, the general exchange, grain exchange and insurance exchange still meet regularly on the floor today.

Hamburg Stock Exchange and individual exchanges

The Hamburg Stock Exchange is organized in the form of an exchange cluster under the sponsorship of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce . The Chamber of Commerce also takes on the management of the General Stock Exchange. Grain exchange, insurance exchange and stock exchange are operated by their own associations or companies.

The information exchanges of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce must be distinguished from these four institutional exchanges. These are internet-based platforms as part of the range of services that make supply and demand transparent for various business issues such as filling apprenticeships or the search for cooperation partners.

Hanseatic Stock Exchange

Hanseatic Stock Exchange, seat of the Börsen AG on Rathausmarkt

The Hanseatic Stock Exchange - in short: Stock Exchange Hamburg - is the oldest stock exchange in Germany. The associations of the members of the Hanseatic Stock Exchange in Hamburg and the Lower Saxony Stock Exchange in Hanover created a joint sponsoring company with Börsen AG in 1999 .

In addition to traditional trading in securities, the stock exchange is also opening up new business areas, such as trading in units in open and closed funds (2002) or trading “used” life insurance policies. The Hamburg Stock Exchange also focuses on trading in maritime or real estate-related securities. Today the stock exchange is the market leader in segments of fund trading.

Around 80 credit institutions and financial service providers, including those from abroad, take part in trading in the more than 14,000 listed securities.

Since today there is only computer-aided brokerage trading during the daily and extended trading hours and no floor trading in the stock exchange room, the stock exchange moved into offices in the nearby Rathausmarkt-Hof at the end of 2005 .

General Exchange

The Hamburger Allgemeine Börse is the origin of all stock exchange activities in Hamburg, from which the other institutional stock exchanges have developed. Today it is mainly used by the real estate industry. The approved real estate agents from Hamburg meet on Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the former floor of the stock exchange to initiate joint deals, exchange information and assessments and maintain business contacts.

Grain Exchange

The grain exchange is the only still active commodity exchange under the umbrella of the Hamburg exchange and a competence center for trading in grain . It is operated by the representation of interests of wholesalers and foreign traders, the Association of Grain Traders of the Hamburger Börse eV , and serves to broker and conclude trading transactions with grain, oilseeds, animal feed, pulses, seeds and related articles as well as service transactions relating to the named articles. It issues contracts that are valid worldwide for this trade.

Weekly on Tuesday, the wholesale prices for imported grain, rapeseed and animal feed - a total of 27 products - are determined by a quotation commission. These quotations are published on the Internet and sent to the agricultural administrations in Germany and Brussels as guide prices . In addition, three supraregional floor exchanges take place every year. Around 400 to 500 traders and representatives from all sectors of the industry are present at these stock exchange events.

Coffee exchange

The coffee exchange in the Speicherstadt

The coffee exchange, opened in 1887, was the first Hamburg futures market of international importance. As early as the 19th century, Hamburg had a large share of the total coffee trade. In order to maintain this trading position even after the introduction of futures markets in Le Havre and New York, the Hamburg Coffee Exchange was set up at the instigation of the association of companies involved in the coffee trade. It was based on Sandtorkai, in the middle of the coffee barns, the warehouse district in the free port that was then being built . After the greatest heyday of this exchange, futures trading was suspended from the beginning of the First World War until it was resumed in 1925. In the same year, futures markets for metal, sugar and rubber were opened on the Hamburg exchange. However, futures trading came to a standstill again in World War II. The stock exchange, which was destroyed by bombs in 1943, was reopened in storage block H in 1950, although the futures market was inactive until the first listing in 1956. A new trading floor was also completed in the same year. Since the structures in coffee trading had changed in the meantime and the businesses of many players had migrated to other stock exchanges, futures trading could not be continued in the long term. As early as the 1960s, only artificial quotations were made. The reasons also lay in the concluded World Coffee Agreement (from 1963), which lasted until the 1980s.

The international coffee trade today protects itself against price fluctuations, especially on the leading stock exchanges in New York ( Arabica trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and ICE Futures US ) and the London stock exchange that has existed since 1954 ( Robusta trading on the LIFFE of NYSE Euronext ) from. Less significant stock exchanges are still in Sao Paulo and Tokyo.

Insurance exchange

The stock exchange for insurance on the Hamburg stock exchange is, alongside the differently structured and incomparably larger Lloyd’s in London, the only marketplace in this branch organized on an exchange. The brokerage and conclusion of insurance contracts has been part of the stock exchange business since the Hamburg Stock Exchange was founded in 1558. Before the insurance exchange was spun off from the Allgemeine Börse in 1977, it was the most important trading partner there.

While the initiation and processing of joint transactions to cover larger risks used to be one of the main trading activities on the Hamburg Insurance Exchange, the business has long since changed. Today, such transactions are usually negotiated in advance between insurers, brokers and customers, while the documents are signed and exchanged at the insurance exchange. In addition, the exchange participants deal with numerous processes there that result from the management of insurance contracts in operation and claims. The stock exchange business relates predominantly to national risks and in particular to industrial and commercial property and liability insurance as well as transport insurance. However, due to changes in insurance practice, the latter no longer takes up as much of the business as it originally did. In contrast to Lloyd's, reinsurance is also rarely taken out.

The in-person meetings of the Hamburg Insurance Exchange take place on working days from 1.30 p.m. to 2.00 p.m. in the arcades between the stock exchange hall and the effects room of the Chamber of Commerce. Its members include 176 companies with a total of 619 people, including 212 employees from insurance companies, 278 brokers, 119 underwriters and 10 surveyors. The association Hanseatischer Transportversicherer eV and the Verband Deutscher Versicherungsmakler eV (VDVM) are the sponsors of this single exchange.


The new stock exchange was built in 1839/41 by Carl Ludwig Wimmel and Franz Gustav Forsmann in the classical style. It was built on the square where the previously demolished medieval Maria Magdalene monastery was located. During the Hamburg fire in 1842, the stock exchange was the only building in the area to be saved from the flames. In 1859 it was expanded by builder William Lindley . In 1880/1884 the building deputation and the architects Bernhard Hanssen and Wilhelm Meerwein added the building to the Alten Wall and in 1909/1912 the building inspector Albert Erbe added the third trading hall on the Große Johannisstraße . In 1946, the building, which was destroyed by bombs in World War II, was rebuilt by the architect Georg Wellhausen and the two destroyed trading floors. The sculptural decorations above the arches on the ground floor represent the various branches of industry with the coat of arms of Hamburg above the central portal. The large stock exchange hall has been a listed building since February 16, 1942, the entire complex of the stock exchange since December 19, 1952. At the rear of the building, the new Hamburg City Hall was built from 1886 behind the common courtyard .

Old stock exchange and stock exchange hall

The private stock exchange hall around 1825

The old stock exchange, from which the stock exchange had moved out in 1841, was destroyed by the Hamburg fire in 1842. It stood at the consolation bridge , opposite the old town hall, which was also destroyed. When it was founded, the stock exchange initially consisted of a paved and fenced-in area (there are lions holding the coat of arms that are now in the Museum of Hamburg History ). From 1577 to 1583 a richly decorated half-timbered building was finally erected as the first Renaissance building in the city (by Jan Andresen, Amsterdam) with a hall open at the bottom for general stock exchange operations. The two-storey building financed by the wealthy dressmakers , the upper rooms of which were used by them, only stood with the front on the quay wall of the previous stock exchange, while the rest of the building stood on stilts above the water of the Nikolaifleetes .

From 1669 to 1672 the house above the canal was expanded again. The increasing number of dealers and the only limited protection in bad weather prompted the demand for a new building. Before that happened, the businessman Gerhard von Hoßtrup had the idea of ​​building his own privately operated stock exchange hall nearby. From 1804, part of the business was relocated to this heated building with a library and designed by Joseph Ramée , which can be used for a fee . The Börsenhalle, which was expanded twice, was also lost in the fire, and the entire street disappeared when a building complex was built in the 1960s. Only the street name near the old stock exchange still reminds of the former location of the old stock exchange.


  • Ludwig Gelder, Manfred F. Fischer: Use and ornament at the same time are presented to the eye. Hamburg's New Stock Exchange 1841–1991. Hamburg Chamber of Commerce 1991.
  • Ursula Becker: Coffee Concentration. For the development and organization of the Hanseatic coffee trade. (= Contributions to company history 12) Steiner, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-515-07916-5 (also: University of Münster, Diss., 1996).
  • Hamburg Chamber of Commerce (ed.): The Hamburg Stock Exchange 1558–2008. Trends in the stock market. Murmann-Verlag, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-86774-048-7 .

Web links

Commons : Hamburger Börse  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. History of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce from 1665 to today. Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, accessed on October 26, 2018 .
  2. stock exchange. Hamburg Stock Exchange, accessed on October 26, 2018 .
  3. General Exchange. Hamburg Stock Exchange, accessed on October 26, 2018 .
  4. The Hamburg Grain Exchange. Hamburg Stock Exchange, accessed on October 26, 2018 .
  5. Former coffee exchange. Prince Hamburg, accessed on October 26, 2018 .
  6. Insurance Exchange . Hamburg Stock Exchange, accessed on October 26, 2018 .
  7. List of monuments of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, as of April 13, 2010 (pdf; 915 kB) ( Memento from June 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  8. The Hamburg Stock Exchange. Hamburg Tourismus GmbH, accessed on October 26, 2018 .

Coordinates: 53 ° 32 '58.8 "  N , 9 ° 59' 27.9"  E