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Location Matters: An Examination of Trading Profits

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  • Harald Hau

Abstract

The electronic trading system Xetra of the German Security Exchange provides a unique data source on the equity trades of 756 professional traders located in 23 different cities and eight European countries. We explore informational asymmetries across the trader population: Traders located outside Germany in non-German-speaking cities show lower proprietary trading profit. Their underperformance is not only statistically significant, it is also of economically significant magnitude and occurs for the 11 largest German blue-chip stocks. We also examine whether a trader location in Frankfurt as the financial center, or local proximity of the trader to the corporate headquarters of the traded stock, or affiliation with a large financial institution results in superior trading performance. The data provide no evidence for a financial center advantage or of increasing institutional scale economies in proprietary trading. However, we find evidence for an information advantage due to corporate headquarters proximity for high-frequency (intraday) trading. Copyright The American Finance Association 2001.

Suggested Citation

  • Harald Hau, 2001. "Location Matters: An Examination of Trading Profits," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1959-1983, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:56:y:2001:i:5:p:1959-1983
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