DP2297 | Information and Geography: Evidence from the German Stock Market

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30/11/1999

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Abstract

The electronic trading system Xetra of the German Security Exchange provides a unique data source on the equity trades of 451 large traders located in 23 different cities and 8 European countries. We explore informational asymmetries across the trader population: Traders located outside Germany in non-German speaking cities show lower proprietary trading profits. Their underperformance is not only statistically significant, it is also of economically significant magnitude and occurs for large blue chip stocks. We also examine if a trader location in Frankfurt as the financial center or local proximity of the trader to the corporate headquarter of the traded stock or affiliation with a large financial institution results in superior trading performance. The data provides no evidence for a 'financial center advantage'. But the data show decreasing 'institutional scale economies' and an information advantage due to corporate headquarter proximity for high frequency (intra-day) trading.