[FRANKFURT] Frankfurt could benefit as a financial centre from a British vote to leave the European Union but Brexit is not the best option, the chief executive of German exchange operator Deutsche Boerse said on Thursday.
Carsten Kengeter is a driving force behind Deutsche Boerse's planned US$30 billion merger with the London Stock Exchange .
Some German politicians, including Tarek Al-Wazir, economy minister in the state of Hesse where Frankfurt and its stock exchange regulator are located, have suggested the city could gain from a migration of business activity from London if Britons vote to leave the EU in a June 23 referendum.
"That is probably true," Mr Kengeter said when asked about that view at a financial conference, adding, however, that the cohesion and efficient working of the EU was by far the biggest factor for overall economic growth. "The UK staying in the EU and taking an active role in the shaping of the EU is very important and is the preferred case," Mr Kengeter said.
Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier that the LSE and Deutsche Boerse will let shareholders decide on the proposed merger after the referendum.
Mr Kengeter said both Frankfurt and London would benefit from "increasing the overall cake" through the merger, with Germany gaining access to the deep wells of British financing and London having a firm link to the eurozone's regulatory and central banking centre, as well as the bloc's largest economy.