Xetra® is an acronym for Exchange Electronic Trading, which is a global trading system established by German marketplace and transaction services company Deutsche Borse. It was launched in November 1997 at the Frankfurter Wertpapierborse, or the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and it is based in Frankfurt, Germany. Xetra® functions as an automated securities trading system, as well as the trading system for Deutsche Borse’s cash market.
Deutsche Borse Systems, which is the technology division of Deutsche Borse, enlisted the assistance of Accenture plc, a technology management and outsourcing company, in the design of Xetra®. It is based on Eurex, which is a premier derivative exchanges system, along with other exchanges such as the Chicago Merchantile Exchange (CME) in Chicago, and the New York Stock Exchange Euronext, Inc. (NYSE Euronext, Inc.), which is a joint venture between the U.S. and certain Western European countries. Incidentally, Eurex is the creation of Deutsche Borse.
Xetra® provides a platform that licensed traders can use to trade several kinds of securities, which include bonds, shares and warrants. This includes matching the buy and sell orders in a centralized electronic book, which documents and organizes the data. The Xetra® Observer feature tracks every transaction in real-time, as well as makes note of any discrepancies during trading.
Traders participating in Xetra® use a graphical user interface (GUI) called the Virtual Access Link Using Exchange Services Application Programming Interface (VALUES API). It provides traders with the ability to communicate with the exchange using images instead of typing text. It is the same GUI that Eurex uses. Users can rely on the Xetra J-Trader, a software based on the Java programming language, as an alternative.
Xetra®-reliant traders typically use workstations, high-performing computers commonly used in technical or scientific fields. Server computers, however, can also be employed; these are machines often used to link other computers together in a sharing network. The operating systems supported are the Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Sun Solaris 10.0 operating systems, as well as the Windows 2003 Server.
As of May 2011, Xetra® counts about 4,700 participating traders. The securities exchange usually achieves a daily peak of one million trades, with more than 500,000 products available for trade on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Some stock exchanges—such as the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE – Sofia), Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE), Germany’s European Energy Exchange AG and Austria’s Wiener Borse AG, or the Vienna Stock Exchange—have adopted Xetra®. With the Irish Stock Exchange, it operates as ISE Xetra.