FAQs

FAQs for the admission procedure of ETFs & ETPs

The following FAQs offer guidance on the admission process for Exchange Traded Funds and Exchange Traded Products to the Regulated Market of Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse (FWB© Frankfurt Stock Exchange). Further details are available in the Listing Guide.

You are also welcome to contact our colleagues directly. They will be happy to assist you in every step of the way:

Listing Services: listing@deutsche-boerse.com // Phone +49-(0) 69-2 11-13990
Products & Regulation: ETF-team@deutsche-boerse.com // Phone +49-(0) 69-2 11-13645

1. What is the ETF & ETP Segment?

In April 2000, Deutsche Börse AG was the first European exchange to launch trading in Exchange Traded Funds with its ETF segment. The segment has since grown continuously and Deutsche Börse remains the market leader for exchange-listed index funds in Europe. In the early years, funds were primarily listed on major European indices such as DAX®, EURO STOXX 50® and STOXX Europe 50®. In the meantime, the range of ETF products has grown considerably. In addition to the standard stock indices, the product range includes a variety of country and regional indices, and a large number of sector indices. In fixed-income, various high-volume government and corporate bonds are available, as well as money market ETFs. Investors can also choose ETFs with focus on strategies, mega trends, and currency hedged products. The sustainability-focused ETF offering has also developed successfully, easily recognizable for example by the abbreviations ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and SRI (Sustainable and Responsible Investment). 

In November 2006 and December 2009, Deutsche Börse AG introduced the two subsegments Exchange Traded Commodities (ETCs) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs), which together comprise the Exchange Traded Product segment. These debt securities track the development of individual commodities or commodity baskets on the one hand and all other asset classes outside the commodity sector such as currencies, volatility, equity or bond indices, which generally have a higher leverage factor, on the other. The central requirement for participation in the ETF & ETP segment is admission to the Regulated Market.  

2. What is the admission process and how long does it take?

Deutsche Börse AG is the responsible body of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, an entity under public law, with the two trading venues Xetra and Börse Frankfurt, where the ETFs and ETPs are traded. The public-law admission procedure is initiated through an application which must be successfully completed for securities to be listed on the Regulated Market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange at the above trading venues. Provided that all prerequisites are met, the duration of the proceedings is approximately six trading days, after which the admission decision is usually made. Every admission procedure applies solely to the respective application and is concerned exclusively with the securities specified therein

3. Who is responsible for the admission decision?

The management of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange makes the decision on the admission of securities to trading on its Regulated Market by administrative act. The decision is prepared by the Listing Services department in a resolution proposal. Listing Services is responsible for processing applications for admission and is therefore in direct contact with the applicants (issuer, co-applicant or authorised representative; see question 5), and it also announces the admission decision.

4. What applications need to be submitted, where can they be found and what documents must be enclosed?

The applicant (issuer, co-applicant or authorized representative) must apply for admission to the Regulated Market and for introduction into trading of the ETFs or ETPs to be listed. In addition, the applicant may simultaneously submit the application for participation in the ETF & ETP segment. 

Please note the following:

  • Three different applications must be submitted, one for admission of securities, one for introduction of admitted securities and one for participation in the ETF & ETP segment. The first two applications are processed by Listing Services (listing@deutsche-boerse.com), while Products & Regulation (etf-team@deutsche-boerse.com) is responsible for the application for participation in the ETF & ETP segment. 
  • All applications for the admission of securities, the introduction of admitted securities as well as for participation in the ETF & ETP segment are available on the listing process page of the Xetra website.
  •  If the applications are submitted by representatives, appropriate powers of attorney must be enclosed. The documents to be submitted are listed in the annex to the application for admission to the Regulated Market. They are intended to give an overview and should include committee resolutions on the issue of the securities, approvals and certificates by the competent authorities, proof of approval for distribution in Germany, proof of the issue of a minimum number of securities and issuer related documents such as articles of association or an extract from the commercial register. These documents must refer to the jurisdiction relevant for the respective issuer.

    Further requirements must be met for participation in the ETF & ETP segment, which include ensuring liquidity through at least one Designated Sponsor and the calculation and publication of the Indicative Net Asset Value (iNAV) at least every 60 seconds (the latter only applies to ETFs and Active ETFs).

    No documents need to be enclosed with the application for the introduction of admitted securities and the application for participation in the ETF & ETP segment. However, further requirements must be met for participation in the ETF & ETP segment, which include ensuring liquidity through at least one Designated Sponsor and the calculation and publication of the Indicative Net Asset Value (iNAV) at least every 60 seconds (the latter only applies to ETFs).  

5. Can the application be submitted by a single applicant?

  • The application for admission must be submitted by the issuer of the securities together with a co-applicant. The co-applicant must be a credit institution, financial services institution or a company operating in accordance with section 53 (1) sentence 1 or section 53b (1) sentence 1 of the German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz), admitted to trading on a domestic stock exchange with the right to participate in trading and must provide evidence of liable equity capital in the equivalent of at least €730,000. Both the issuer and the co-applicant may be represented by proxy upon presentation of a power of attorney. 
  • The application for the introduction of admitted securities and the application for participation in the ETF & ETP segment may be submitted solely by the issuer of the securities, and the issuer may be represented by a proxy. 

6. Where can the list of suitable co-applicants be found?

The list of potential co-applicants is available on our website.

7. What exactly are the “admission requirements”?

The management of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is bound by law and statute when issuing the public law administrative act of listing. The requirements for the admission of securities to the stock exchange as laid down in the relevant regulations (Stock Exchange Act, Stock Exchange Admission Regulation, Prospectus Regulation (EU) 2017/1129, the Exchange Rules of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, etc.) must therefore be observed. Insofar as the law grants exceptions from or discretion in the application of the regulations, a general administrative practice has been established. 
 
In short, the admission requirements are criteria applicable to the issuers, the securities and their trading. The issuer must be a legally existing company, the securities must be issued effectively and in sufficient numbers for orderly stock exchange trading, and they must be fungible. In addition, depending on the securities to be admitted (ETF, ETC or ETN), an OGAW (Organismen für gemeinsame Anlagen in Wertpapieren) or UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities) certificate from the competent authority must be presented, as well as proof of authorisation to distribute the securities in Germany, and settlement of the exchange transactions concluded at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange must be ensured. Compliance with these requirements must be proven by appropriate evidence (see question 4) as listed in the application for admission.

8. Does an applicant need to specify a process agent?

Issuers with a registered office outside Germany are required to appoint an authorised recipient in Germany. This requirement may be waived in certain cases to be clarified accordingly with Listing Services.

9. What are Specialists and which tasks do they perform?

Specialists ensure the tradability of securities at the Börse Frankfurt trading venue in the continuous auction trading model. They are obliged to provide tradable buying and selling prices, so-called Quotes. This includes, for example, the setting of maximum spreads within which the buy and sell prices may move, as well as minimum quotation volumes to ensure timely execution, even in the case of larger orders. 

As part of the application for the introduction of securities, issuers may select a Specialist for ETF and ETP trading at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange to assume responsibility for the tradability of the ETF or ETP on the Börse Frankfurt trading venue. The selection and service of a Specialist bears no additional charge for the issuer. A detailed list of Specialists with contact details can be found on our website.
 

10. What is the role of the Designated Sponsor and in what way does it differ from that of a Specialist?

In contrast to a Specialist, who alone exercises the sovereignty over the tradability of an ETF or ETP on the Börse Frankfurt trading venue, several Designated Sponsors can act as liquidity providers in an ETF or ETP on the Xetra trading venue. The issuer must, however, appoint at least one Designated Sponsor.

High minimum requirements apply to Designated Sponsors, which include minimum participation rates in auctions and continuous trading of at least 80 per cent, and of 90 per cent to benefit from a 100 per cent reimbursement of transaction fees for passive execution of orders. 

11. What about „Deliverability“?

Transactions concluded at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange must be fulfilled in due time. This means that the purchase price is booked with the seller and the acquired securities with the buyer. The necessary requirements must already exist prior to the admission decision; the securities must already be admitted for safekeeping at a securities clearing and deposit bank and valued in a quantity sufficient for exchange trading (see question 12 on the minimum quantity). If, for example, the securities are securitized in a global certificate deposited at Clearstream Banking AG in Frankfurt, their admission to collective safe custody and the value date of the global certificate are also carried out there. If a global certificate is deposited or the securities are booked in the form of bookentry securities at a foreign securities clearing and deposit bank, a technical connection between Clearstream Banking AG and the respective securities clearing and deposit bank must be in place for the settlement of exchange transactions concluded at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Finally, if the securities are deliverable in the form of global bearer certificates issued by Clearstream Banking AG, the appropriate agreements must be concluded with Clearstream Banking AG. You may directly contact Clearstream Banking AG via e-mail: ifs@clearstream.com 

Important note: The issuer and the institutions authorised by the issuer bear the responsibility to ensure timely establishment of deliverability. Listing Services has no influence whatsoever on this process, but cannot make the admission decision if the prerequisites are not met. Further information on settlement models can be found on the clearstream website. 

12. What is the minimum issue quantity to ensure proper trading?

Section 2 of the Stock Exchange Admission Regulation (Börsenzulassungs-Verordnung, BörsZulV) requires 10,000 shares as the minimum number to be issued and booked prior to the admission decision. The Management Board may accept a lower number if it does not restrict the tradability of the securities. In management practice, a deviation down to 1,000 from the required 10,000 minimum number of units is acceptable but requires appropriate justification by the issuer. 

13. Which trading currencies are supported on Xetra and Börse Frankfurt?

For each ETF or ETP, the issuer may choose among the following trading currencies for the Xetra trading venue: AUD, CAD, CHF, CNY, EUR, GBP, JPY, SEK or USD. On Börse Frankfurt, ETFs and ETPs are only offered in the trading currency euro. For trading in several currencies, a listing per unit class in the respective currency is required. 

14. What are the fees for a listing of ETFs or ETPs on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange?

The following fees apply to the listing of ETFs or ETPs, based on the Fee Schedule (Gebührenordnung, GebO) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange: 

  • Admission fee (one-time fee) in an amount of €3,000 per ISIN (reduced for ETPs to €600 per ISIN for N+1 applications within 12 months)
  • Introduction fee (one-time fee) in an amount of €500 per ISIN
  • Listing fee (only applicable to ETFs: settled annually/quarterly) for securities trading, calculated in steps and based on the total NAV in euro on the last valuation day of the previous year of the share class or sub-fund applicable to the units.   

    Fees for a total NAV of  
    (a) up to €50 million » €500 [per ISIN], 
    (b) €50 million up to €100 million » €1,000 [per ISIN],
    (c) €100 million up to €1 billion » €2,500 [per ISIN],
    (d) €1 billion up to €2 billion » €5,000 [per ISIN], and
    (e) above €2 billion » €10,000 [per ISIN].

15. What is the difference between the invoice recipient and the debtor?

As part of the admission and introduction of securities to the Regulated Market, the issuer must pay fees to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (see question 14). For this purpose, the applicant must specify the invoice recipient and debtor in the application forms (see question 4). The invoice recipient can be the issuer or any third party. However, in accordance with section 4 (2) Fee Schedule of the Frankfurt Stock Ex-change, the applicant may, without exception, only specify either the issuer or the co-applicant as debtor.

16. What purpose does an LEI serve, and where can issuers apply for it?

The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a 20-digit alphanumeric identifier of participants in the financial market. Each ETF or ETP issuer must have its own LEI, to be specified as part of the approval process. The LEI can be requested via a number of providers, among them WM Data: wm-leiportal.org.

17. Where can issuers apply for the ticker symbol for an ETF or ETP?

The application for an ETF or ETP ticker symbol can be submitted via WM Data. WM Data is an independent German Financial Numbering Agency responsible, among other things, for the assignment of German Securities Identification Numbers (WKN) and International Security Identification Numbers (ISIN) for German issuers, as well as the FISN (Financial Instrument Short Name – ISO 18774) for all types of financial instruments. Applications for short names can be submitted by e-mail to wkn-funds@wmdaten.com. The issuer may include its preferred short names, consisting of three or four alphanumeric characters, provided they are as yet unassigned. 

18. Is there any way to influence the way ETF or ETP data is presented by Reuters or Bloomberg?

Listing Services has no direct influence on the data provided by Reuters or Bloomberg with regard to ETFs or ETPs. Nor does the Frankfurt Stock Exchange issue any codes, ISINs or ticker symbols used by these service providers (the latter are issued in Germany by the WM Data (see question 17)). Any questions in this regard should be addressed directly to the respective company. 

19. Can the iNAV be calculated and published via Deutsche Börse AG?

The iNAV (indicative net asset value) must be calculated in the respective trading currency at least every 60 seconds and published by recognized vendors. The ETF issuer may calculate the iNAV itself or instruct a third party to do so. Deutsche Börse AG offers this service via Qontigo and also handles communication with vendors such as Reuters or Bloomberg to ensure publication. Qontigo can be contacted via the following e-mail address: customersupport@stoxx.com.

20. What are the post-listing obligations of ETF & ETP issuers towards the Frankfurt Stock Exchange?

ETF or ETP issuers have no special transparency obligations towards the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. However, technical changes in securities, and in particular changes impacting exchange trading such as (reverse) splits, liquidations, name changes, etc., must be reported to the management of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in good time.

Inquiries must be made directly to the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, BaFin) as to the extent to which obligations exist towards or are monitored by it. 

21. What happens when an ETF or ETP changes its name?

Listing Services and Products & Regulation must be notified of a change of name of an ETF or ETP several days prior to its taking effect, allowing for the announcement publication to be arranged accordingly and the master data to be correctly displayed on the website. If available, all decisions, announcements and official approvals must be attached to the notification.

The announcement of the name change is necessary because the securities were admitted to exchange trading and introduced to trading under a specific name. Any changes thus require express announcement. 
 

22. What arrangements need to be made with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange if the index underlying the ETF or ETP changes?

If the underlying index of the ETF or ETP changes, the Products & Regulation department must be notified in good time to ensure the correct display of the product’s master data on the website. If the measure is accompanied by a name change, Listing Services must also be contacted to ensure prompt publication of the name change announcement. 

23. Is the publication of notifications to shareholders via Deutsche Börse mandatory?

The issuer may publish notifications to its shareholders via the website of Deutsche Börse AG. These notifications should be related to changes in the product such mergers, delistings, change of benchmark. Information about shareholder meetings or change of management boards as well as prospectus are not published. However, this is not an obligation. To do so, the Products & Regulation department must be contacted at least one day in advance (T-1). 

24. What are the points to be considered in the case of a merger of ETFs or ETPs?

A number of constellations are conceivable with regard to a merger of ETFs or ETPs. Please note that the securities-related implementation of the intended measures is not initiated by the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

  • An ETF (“ETF 1”) not admitted to trading at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is merged with an ETF (“ETF 2”) listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. If the investors in ETF 2 are not granted the right to subscribe to shares in ETF 1, or if the merger with ETF 1 does not result in the permitted number of ETF 2 being exceeded, no action is required towards the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
  • An ETF (“ETF 1”) admitted to exchange trading at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is merged with an ETF (“ETF 2”) not listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange; the fact that ETF 1 hence becomes inactive results in a “cold delisting”. In this case, Listing Services and Market Supervision must be informed. Trading in ETF 1 must be discontinued at the latest when the merger takes effect. Listing Services must be notified of resolutions and approvals of the competent authorities in addition to the date of effectiveness. Application for a revocation of the admission to trading is not necessary.
  • Two ETFs admitted to trading at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (“ETF 1” and “ETF 2”) are merged. If this creates a new legal entity and ETF 1 and ETF 2 cease to exist, the question whether the new legal entity should be admitted to exchange trading must be examined. For ETF 1 and ETF 2, this transaction represents a form of “cold delisting”; the suspension of exchange trading must be ordered at the latest at the time the merger takes effect. For this purpose, Listing Services or Market Supervision must be informed (if the change occurs intraday and trading must be suspended). If trading shall be suspended prior to the merger taking effect, Market Supervision must also be informed.

    If only one ETF (either ETF 1 or ETF 2) ceases to exist and the other, as the receiving ETF, continues to exist, trading in the ETF that ceases to exist must be discontinued (after prior suspension, if necessary). It should be noted that the total number of shares issued may not exceed the permitted number of shares of the receiving ETF.

    In the above mentioned cases, Listing Services must also be duly informed before any measure is taken, and the relevant documentation must be submitted (schedule for the measure, resolutions, official approvals, publications, etc.).  

25. How is trading at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange discontinued?

Trading of ETFs or ETPs on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange can be discontinued following revocation of the securities’ admission to trading on the exchange by the management board, at the issuer’s request or as a result of the securities’ becoming inactive, for example after their liquidation.

The revocation of the admission of securities to listing is a statutory, public law procedure, initiated via individual application by the issuer and processed by Listing Services. As with the admission procedure, the management board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, which is the competent body authorised to make the decision, is bound by law and statute. Revocation may thus not contradict the protection of the public, indicated, for example, by continued trading of the securities subject to the application on a domestic or foreign organised market after the date of the revocation decision by the management board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Accordingly, the revocation takes effect after a period of one, three, or in extreme cases six months following publication of the revocation decision. A fee of €3,000 is charged per ISIN to be revoked. 

Due to the termination of the securities’ legal existence, the subject of the listing ceases to exist. Hence, a security that would be the subject of an application for termination no longer exists, which means that a revocation procedure (which would be subject to a fee) does not need to be carried out. Listing Services must thus be informed in good time about the planned liquidation, and the relevant and available documentation (official approval, publication of the measure, resolutions, etc.) shall be submitted. Trading in the respective securities will ideally be discontinued at the same time as the termination of their legal existence becomes effective. For technical reasons, the listing of a security on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange can only be discontinued at the end of a trading day. Intraday suspension of trading is, however, possible; discontinuation can then be initiated for the end of the next trading day. In addition to Listing Services, the issuer should therefore also inform Market Supervision, which is responsible for the suspension of listings. Market Supervision can be contacted by e-mail at cmmarketcontrol@deutsche-boerse.com or phone at +49 (0) 69-2 11-11400. 

Market Supervision must also be notified in good time if the issuer deems it important to suspend trading in advance, the reasons of which shall be given to allow for examination of the legal grounds for the suspension.

 

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