London Edges Back Ahead of Amsterdam as Europe’s Trading Hub

London moved back ahead of Amsterdam as Europe’s largest share trading center in June, reclaiming the top spot for the first time this year after Brexit pushed much of the city’s volumes to the continent.

An average 8.92 billion euros ($10.6 billion) of shares a day were traded on various London venues in June, compared with 8.8 billion euros for various Dutch venues, according to data from Cboe Europe.

This compares with about 9.4 billion euros average daily trading value for Amsterdam in May and around 8.7 billion euros in London. Paris, the third largest venue, saw its daily trading decline from almost 6.1 billion euros in May to 5.8 billion euros in June.

While London’s return to the top spot is a welcome boost for a U.K. finance industry buffeted by Brexit, the city’s lead over Amsterdam is a fraction of what it was before the end of the transition period. In December, London’s share trading volumes stood at 14.3 billion euros compared to 2.2 billion euros for Amsterdam, according to Cboe data.

London Edges Back Ahead of Amsterdam as Europe’s Trading Hub

Britain lost its rights to access the European Union’s single market on Dec. 31 and the bloc has not permitted investors inside its borders to trade shares in companies such as Airbus SE and BNP Paribas SA from the U.K. The EU could eventually reopen access by recognizing the U.K. markets as equivalent to its own, though there is little sign of movement in this process.

London has gained some volumes this year from Swiss equity trading, which resumed after the U.K. dropped out of an EU-wide ban that has been in place since 2019.

The shifts in trading volume between cities is unlikely to have much of an impact on the bottom line for brokers and trading platforms. The region’s biggest players, including the London Stock Exchange Group Plc and Cboe, operate venues in both London and the EU, enabling them to grab a share of the business no matter the location.

But the change is a symbolic fillip for the City and comes the same week that Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak outlined plans to maintain London’s status as a top financial center.

“The return of Swiss share trading has helped overturn what has been just a temporary phase,” said Alberto Tocchio, a portfolio manager at Kairos Partners. “London will soon regain the status of European and global trading hub and it could easily benefit from being away from the restrictive EU rules.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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